The calf muscles tend to be overlooked when exercising, but a strong beautiful body demands that attention be paid to this area as well. The two targeted muscles that make up the calf are the gastrocnemius muscle which gives it its rounded shape and the soleus, a flatter muscle that runs underneath the gastrocnemius and lower down your leg. There is a variety of calf muscle exercises you can choose from, so let’s talk about how you can get great-looking calves.
10 Great Calf Muscle Exercises
1. Double-Leg Standing Calf Raise
This calf muscle exercise is a classic when it comes to calf training since it uses your bodyweight to strengthen both the gastrocnemius and the soleus muscles. You can intensify your workout by standing on a stair or solid wood block, lowering your heels as far as you can towards the floor and pressing up as high as possible. Add a dumbbell to that if you want to up the difficulty level.
2. Single –Leg Calf Raise
This calf muscle exercise is similar to the previous one, with the added value of increased intensity. Make sure to place one hand on the wall for balance, especially when doing it with a dumbbell in your hand.
3. Seated Calf Raises
A beautiful calf is usually shaped by the gastrocnemius muscle, however overall strength requires that you work on all of your muscles. These calf muscle exercises mostly target the soleus muscle and it is a great exercise for the end of your gams workout since you don’t have to worry about balance while sitting down.
4. Leg Press Calf Raises
This calf muscle exercise has the most potential for getting a deeper pull in the calf muscles and it gives your back a welcomed break since the added weight doesn’t press on your spine. Make sure to keep your hips and knees still and put all the movement in your ankles and you’ve got yourself a great strength-building exercise.
5. Jumping Rope
Want to get your heart pumping and a little cardio in your calf strengthening regime? Then get yourself a quality jump rope and start training. Make sure to bounce on the balls of your feet and keep your ground contact as short as possible.
6. Pogo Jumps
A simple calf muscle exercise that you can easily do at home or in the park, pogo jumps are a staple in any dynamic warm-up and they hit your calves hard. Make sure to keep your knees slightly bent and your hands in front of you at chest level and jump as fast and high as you can as if you’re jumping rope.
7. Walking, Hiking and Running
These three are good calf muscle exercises, but they also work your entire body and they play an important part in building lean, beautiful legs. Target your calves by going uphill and gradually increasing the steep of the climb to make them work harder.
8. Running Sports
Running sports such as tennis, soccer, and basketball are great for toning your gams since they involve running, jumping and pushing off your calf muscles to accelerate or change direction quickly.
Swimming is an efficient way of working your entire leg muscles along with your calves. It is low-impact since your body doesn’t land on your feet like it does with running, so it is a safe way to strengthen your calves when you are recovering from injury or when you simply need to power down for a while.
10. Running stairs
While running stairs is most often associated with fitness training, it can also be a highly effective method of calf strengthening. Run up the stairs as fast as you can, keeping your weight on the balls of your feet then walk back down, rest and repeat.
Now you’ve got enough information to make the best out of your calf muscle exercises. Choose your favorite exercises, mix it up to remain interested and sculpt some strong, beautiful calf muscles.