With your toes on the edge of a step, block or large book, rise up onto your toes and the balls of your feet. Then slowly lower yourself back down and drop your heel below the edge. Repeat 10 to 12 times on each foot and build up to three sets. Keep your posture straight and use a handrail for balance if needed.
Calf Rodeo Reps
Because you can hit the soleus best when you’re sitting down, you’ll want to include seated exercises in your calf workout. Do both double- and single-leg seated calf raises to train this muscle. To best involve the gastroc muscle, do single- or double-leg standing calf raises. You can do them on flat ground, or off a ledge for added difficulty.
Sets And Reps
Because your soleus is made of slow-twitch fibers, it will respond best to slow reps over a long duration. Use a slower tempo pattern and perform 12-to-20 reps. Don’t skimp on the weight: Your calves recover quickly and can take a heavy beating, so be sure to challenge yourself. The gastroc is a fast-twitch muscle, so it’s best targeted through explosive movements with heavy weight.
Stretch to be Supple
Calves have a tendency to tighten and cramp, especially when pumped. Some quick calf stretches at the end and throughout your calf workouts will help them stay loose.
Placing a foot up against the wall and leaning into it is one of the best ways to stretch out the calves. Or, stand off a step and let your body weight stretch your heel toward the ground. Hold each position for 20-to-30 seconds.
Uphill walking or running is excellent for toning and defining your calf muscles. Both exercises will also burn unwanted body fat. Stair climbing (or using a comparable machine at the gym) is also excellent calf-toning cardio.
Push off on your toes, not your heels, to more directly engage your calves. If you really want to take things up a notch, try hopping up a staircase on just one leg, then switch sides and repeat. Feel the burn! You can incorporate 20 minutes of cardio after any resistance workout, including direct calf training.
1. Single-Leg Calf Raises
According to my personal trainer, this is one of the best exercises for calves. You’ll be surprised how sore you are after the first day, so be prepared! Stand on one foot (the other bent at the knee behind you), then slowly roll from your flat foot to almost your tip toes. You don’t want to stand ON your tip toes, but close! Then slowly roll back to the flat of your foot. Start with 2 sets of 12 for each foot… then gradually increase from 12 to 20, then to 30.
2. Calf Raises
Double the single-leg calf raises, and you can tone both of your calves at once! If you don’t quite have the balance for it, no worries… hold on to the back of a chair til you get it. Try for 2 sets of 20, if you can… work up to 2 sets of 30. I like to do these standing in line at the grocery store or at the bank. What a great way to sneak in your calf exercises!
Want toned calves, legs, and bootie? There’s nothing better than squats! The key is to do them while maintaining proper form; your knees should never extend beyond your toes, and you should never really lean forward. Make a sitting motion, then come back up without bouncing. For balance, extend your arms out in front of you. There! That’s one! Now complete 2 sets of 12. Whew!
Aside from giving you stellar toned butt and thighs, lunges are another exercise for calves as well. Do 2 sets of 12 standard lunges (front), then mix it up by doing 2 sets of 12 right-side lunges and 2 sets of 12 left-side lunges. If you can, try doing 2 sets of 12 back lunges, too… I can never do these… balance!
5.Bosu Ball Squats
As if squats themselves weren’t challenging enough, right? Combining a squat with the BOSU ball works your legs and core, because you’re straining to keep your balance. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart onto of a BOSU ball with a pole for support. Do the squat move, then use the pole to help you stand back up. Wow… this is hard! Do two sets of 12.
Running is marvelous cardio, but it’s also great for your legs and calves! If you want toned calves, get a good pair of trainers and walk, jog, or run. Aim for five days a week, about half an hour for best results.
7. Do Yoga
Yoga is fantastic for stress relief, balance, pain management, strength, flexibility and agility… and yoga is another great exercise for calves. I like doing the Tree pose, then extending from the flat of my foot to my toes… sort of a calf raise, right?
8. Try Ballet
Think about it: in several ballet poses, you’re on your toes, in similar stances to yoga poses and even calf raises. If you want great legs, ballet is an excellent exercise for calves.
Enroll in a beginner class, or just buy a ballet-at-home DVD, and for even more fun, try it with your kids!
There are so many exercises for calves, and most of them don’t even involve extra gym time! I love that you can do most of these at home, or even standing in queue. The Best Calf-Strengthening Exercises
Here are the four best exercises for strengthening your calves.
1. Double-Leg Calf Raise. Calf raises are the classic calf-strengthening exercise. They use your body weight to strengthen and tone the gastrocnemius and soleus.
Starting position: Stand near a wall for balance. Place your feet hip-width apart, and make sure your ankles, knees, and hips are in vertical alignment to protect your joints.
Action: Press down into the balls of both feet to raise your body upward. Keep your abdominal muscles pulled in so that you move straight upward, rather than shifting your body forward or backward.
Start standing on a stair, or similar so your heels can drop lower than your toes. Keeping the balls of your feet on the stair, lower your heels as far as you can toward the floor. Then press your heels up as high as you can. Add weight to add intensity. Repeat the exercise holding a dumbbell or other weight in one hand. Keep your hand on a wall for balance.
2. Single-Leg Calf Raise. You can increase the intensity of the calf raise by doing it on one leg. That way you can strengthen your calf muscle even more.
Starting position: Stand on one leg near a wall for balance with the other leg bent behind you. Be sure the ankle, knee, and hip of the leg you’re working are in vertical alignment to protect the joints.
Action: Press down into the ball of your foot to raise your body upward. Keep your abdominal muscles pulled in so you avoid shifting forward or backward.
Start standing on a stair or similar. Keeping the ball of your foot on the stair, let your heel drop down below the step. Then press up as high as you can.
Add weight to add intensity. Hold a dumbbell or other weight in one hand. Place the other hand on the wall for balance.
3. Seated Calf Raise. You can do this exercise at home or at the gym on a calf exercise machine. The exercise works both the gastrocnemius and soleus.
Starting position: Sit on a firm, sturdy chair with your feet flat on the floor. Keep your knees aligned directly over your feet. Don’t let your knees turn in or out. Lean forward placing hands on thighs near knees pushing down to add resistance.
Action: Press slowly down into the balls of your feet to raise your heels as high as you can. Next, slowly lower your heels. Repeat.
At the gym.
Starting position: Set yourself up in the calf press machine with the balls of your feet on the platform. This will let you lower your heels toward the floor. Undo the machine’s safety latch and release the weight onto your calves.
Action: Drop your heels as far as you can toward the floor to lower the weight, and then press into the balls of your feet to raise your heels as high as you can.
4. Calf-Building Sports: Taking part in the following sports will help you both strengthen and tone your calves.
Running, walking, and hiking are excellent calf-strengthening exercises, especially when you go uphill. The steeper the climb, the more your calves have to work.
Running sports such as soccer, basketball, and tennis demand that you run, jump, and push off your calf muscles to accelerate or change direction quickly. So they’re great for toning calves.
Step class and other kinds of dance will work your calves every time you step up and down or bend your knees and push off going from high to low positions.
Swimming works the calves along with the rest of the legs muscles. It also avoids the impact of running or jumping. Because it’s low-impact, it’s also a safe way to strengthen calves if you’re recovering from an injury.
If you’re overweight and want the look of toned calves, you may want to add a safe weight loss program that includes diet and exercise. You can’t spot-reduce any part of your body.
Follow these guidelines so your calf-strengthening exercises are safe and effective.
Do the exercises consistently two or three times a week to build strength.
Move slowly through each exercise so you stay aware of your body alignment. Press up for a slow count of two to four. Then lower back down for a slow count of four.
Customize your exercise to match your level of fitness and avoid injury. And check with a fitness professional if you’re not sure how much weight is safe for you to use. A general rule of thumb for strength training is to aim for eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise for one to three sets. Your muscles should feel fatigued, but you should be able to finish your repetitions.
Increase the load on the muscle gradually over time. For instance, add 10% to 15% to the weight every 2 weeks.
Check with your doctor first if you’ve had a foot, ankle, or calf muscle injury in the past. Depending on your health or physical condition, certain exercises may not be recommended.
Women Fitness is sure that if our female readers follow the information provide above they are sure to get sexy chiseled calf muscles.
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.