You pee every last drop RIGHT before the seated calf raises, but doggone it, just one set makes your bladder feel full.

Now of course, the action of calf raises (weighted) doesn’t increase urine production, but the resulting bladder pressure sure feels that way.

Many bodybuilders and physique athletes head straight to the toilet right after a routine of calf raises, even if they took a good leak immediately before this particular movement.

The bladder pressure from seated calf raises can be bad enough to make a man OR woman go to the john, even though only a few drops or urine may come out.

The unpleasant sensation is temporary and is usually gone by the time the athlete moves on to the next exercise.

Reasons Seated Calf Raises Cause Bladder Pressure

“Athletes are raising their intra-abdominal pressure that can put pressure on the bladder,” says Dana Rice, MD, a board certified urologist and creator of the UTI Tracker mobile app, which helps patients catalog daily urinary tract symptoms, medication and behavioral patterns, and offers personalized tips for UTI prevention.

“If the bladder pressure (intravesicle pressure) is elevated as a secondary effect, the bladder muscle (detrusor muscle) may have an involuntary contraction (bladder spasm), therefore feeling the urge to urinate,” continues Dr. Rice.

“It is also possible that this exercise stimulates pelvic floor muscles to contract, mimicking micturition (voiding, urinating) and giving off a sensation of having to void urine.

“I am speculating, but the pelvic floor, abdominal and bladder pressures are all intimately related and if altered could replicate the sensation people are reporting,” says Dr. Rice.

Now that you know the reasons why seated calf raises make you feel you must empty your bladder, perhaps the feeling of having to pee will be much more tolerable from now on.

For more information on the UTI Tracker, go to

Dr. Rice is with Inova Medical Group in Fairfax, VA, and her clinical interests include bladder, kidney and prostate cancer, minimally invasive surgery and robotic surgery.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  



Top image: Shutterstock/Denis Val