Kettlebell calf raises can be a great addition to your kettlebell workouts. They are not very different to your traditional barbell and machine calf raises but as the weights will be supported from a different angle they will challenge the calf muscles in a slightly different manner and therefore encourage some additional growth where you had not quite filled that potential.
As with all calf raises there are a few different versions for you to experiment with and the main concern being how much of a stretch on the negative part of the movement you are wanting.
An athlete will find that they can lift a lot more weight when performing standing calf raises straight off the floor. In this movement there is no stretch on the downwards part of the movement as the foot goes from being flat on the floor to standing on the tips of your toes preventing the calf to contract before returning back to flat footed allowing the calf muscle to relax.
The other version of the classic standing calf raise is to use some form of platform. The most common platform to perform this movement would be a simply wooden block. The athlete is then required to stand with their toes on the end of the block with their heads hanging off. The athlete is then required to drive upwards to a position where their weight is supported on the tips of the toes preventing maximum contraction of the calf muscles before reversing the movement so that the heel goes below the flat footed position and the Calf muscle is stretched. At the lower part of the movement it is very important not to allow the calf to bounce as this can injure the Achilles tendon. Explode out of the negative back into the tip toed position.
To use Kettlebells for standing calf raises there are ways of supporting the weight, both of which will challenge the Calves in different ways.
The first and simplest method is to simply hold a kettlebell in each hand and allow to hang at the sides of your body. This way of holding the Kettlebells tends to put more strain on the outer part of the Calves which can create the fuller look of the Calves from the back view of the athlete.
The other and more difficult way to perform the Kettlebell Calf raise is to Clean the Kettlebells up to the Racked position. Once in the racked position is when you would step onto the platform if you are performing this type of calf raise. To perform Kettlebell calf raises from this position is far more difficult and due to the advanced center of gravity the Kettlebells place on the Calf muscles you may find balancing a lot harder. It would be advisable to attempt the calf raises on the floor first of all if you wish to perform calf raises from the racked position. Once you can master the racked position kettlebell calf raises you will be challenging your calves with the stability of the movement and a lot of focus of the weight will be centralized towards the inner calf helping to create the diamond shape of a well developed calf muscle.
This is again just one of many ways kettlebell exercises can provide the boost required to your workouts to encourage even more muscular growth and definition.