Get Strong Calves with These Exercises

By: Steve Hochman

Have you ever seen someone with a really fantastic body and then you see their calves and they are tiny and basically lifeless? That's because most people that spend time working out have this bad habit of working on their upper and middle body and tend to forget about anything that is below their butt. The truth is that the calf muscles are a very important part of your body.

Without calf muscles that are healthy and strong we would be unable to do even the most basic of activities such as run, jump, walk or even ride a bike. On top of that the muscles in the calves help us to maintain correct posture and stability.

The 2 main muscles in the calves are the gastrocnemius and soleus, also known as the twins. These are the muscles that you need to develop to have not only healthy legs but sexy legs as well. So really you need to really focus on how to quickly develop strong and sexy calves with these top five exercises.

1. Standing Raise/burn out - Stand on the foot block of the machine, if you don't have a machine you can still do it on stairs or even a book, anything that will allow your after you to obtain full range of motion. Make sure your feet are comfortably apart and your toes are forward. Begin with your heels lowered as far as possible and then slowly raise up to your tiptoes then down again. Do 15 reps with full range of motion then get off machine and while standing flat on the floor do another 50 calf raises.

TIP: Anytime you are doing calf raises you need to keep in mind that you need to complete a full range of motion, stretch your heel all the way at the bottom then go all the way up on your tip toes in order to get the best results.

2. Seated calf Raise - Sit down at a calf raise machine. Put your toes on the platform facing forward with your upper thighs under the leg pad just above your knees. Lift up with your heels so that you are on your tiptoes and make sure to flex your calf muscles while in this position and hold for a count of one. Repeat for 15 reps.

3. Donkey calf raise - Place your toes on the edge of a block or dumbbell and then lean your body forward from the waist at a 90-degree angle and hold onto a table or bench for support. This exercise can be done with either bent knees or straight legs. For added resistance you can allow some one sit on your lower back, hence the name Donkey Calf Raises. Repeat 15 to 20 times.

4. Treadmill calf exercises - Using a treadmill set your incline to 15%. Walk for at least 20 minutes to work the calves out.

TIP: Anytime you are working your calves out make sure that you stretch them out after each set by propping your leg slightly and reaching forward into your toe, pull back on the toe slightly and release.

5. Leg press machine calf raises - Sit at a leg press machine and press the weight up as if you are doing leg presses. Now holding the rack up, place the balls of your feet on the platform and allow you're your heels hang off. Now slowly push the platform up until your toes are pointed hold for a count of one and then slowly release down back down until your toes are once again in line with your heels. Use control with the exercise and perform each repetition slowing, do not bounce the toe. By adjusting your toes to point in or point out you can focus on the inner or outer calf muscles. Repeat 15 to 20 times

TIP: A word of caution here, make sure that the handles are in the locked position when doing this exercise because if your feet were to slip you could be seriously injured.

You will quickly develop strong and sexy calves with these top five exercises if you have a regularly scheduled routine that you follow and you won't be one of those running around with the nice body and skinny calves.

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