Build Your Hips: 6 Best Calf Building Exercises
Are you planning a lower body training program? You definitely plan to include squatting in it. And for good reason. The buttock muscles are the largest muscles in your body. But there are other
muscles that deserve your attention: the calf muscles. Calf muscles are important for pedaling, running, jumping, swimming and working on agility. The calves also stabilize your knees and Achilles
tendons, protecting you from injury. So why not devote some exercises to these muscles that you need to get to know? We will introduce you to some of them.
Calves, an overview
The calves are located at the back of the leg, between the knee socket and the heel. It consists of two layers: the superficial layer and the deep muscle. Its main function is to guide the foot or toes toward the
ball of the foot (plantar flexion). It also keeps you upright and stable when you walk, run or jump. Have you ever made a bad move while
walking and felt your leg retract, then immediately fall back into place? The calves are activated in this case, as they participate in the internal and external rotation of the foot.
You should know that strengthening the leg muscles is not as simple as strengthening the butt muscles, for example. You will not see a steadily lifted weight gain. Consider these exercises as an essential side job for all of your other training sessions at the gym, and for your everyday life.
If you are a cyclist, you need strong calves. Know that athletes learn to use their calves primarily while riding a bike, especially to step back from the pedal and save their hamstrings for the racing portion
of the event. And if you're prone to knee or Achilles heel injuries, strengthening your calf muscles will help keep you off the beaten track with plyometrics or weight training.
Work your calf muscles once or twice a week on the day you actually work your lower body. Choose 2 exercises from the following, and do 3 to 4 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions. If you're new to this type of
training, do fewer sets or reps at first, so you don't risk stretching. To avoid cramps, start with a series of warm-ups with a light or even no weight load.
1 calf raise
Start by standing on a step or step, feet slightly less wide than pelvis, on tiptoe, heels in space, arms at sides. Engage your core and muscles, keep your lower back in a neutral position and raise your
heels as high as you can, then lower them as far as you can: count to one repetition. Perform all repetitions and recover as long as necessary. If you have problems with balance, place your fingers
against a wall or other support. If that's too easy, challenge your strength by carrying two light or medium weights.
2 seated calf raise
Begin by sitting on a chair or exercise bench, with a barbell or dumbbells on your thighs, just above your knees, and your legs at 90 degrees. Using your core and glutes to stay straight and still, lift your
heels as high as you can, then lower your back to the starting position and count for one reps. Gradually increase the weight to avoid cramping or injury. You can also perform this exercise with an elastic band around heavy dumbbells.
3 Squats on tiptoes
Start with a foot slightly wider than the pelvis, a slight platform under each heel, and the soles of the feet on the floor. Press into your core, engage your glutes and do an open squat. Count once. Add weight only if you can perform this exercise with perfect balance, and gradually increase the load.
4 squat jump
Start standing, with your feet slightly wider than your pelvis. Begin by descending into a squat position, pressing firmly on your tiptoes, swinging your arms toward the ceiling and making an explosive
vertical jump, pointing your toes when in the air. Soften the landing and return to the starting position. Count once. series of jumps.
5 lunge with calf extension
Start with feet hip-width apart. Take a big step forward with the left leg and lower the right knee to make a right angle. Keeping the core engaged, lift the left heel off the floor, press the left foot into the
floor and return to the starting position. Repeat the same on the other side. Count once. If your knees feel too much, do reverse squats.
6 lunges jump
Start standing, feet apart. Bring the left leg forward, lowering the right knee toward the floor, and the left knee slightly in front of the left ankle. Push the balls of your feet up and make an explosive jump
up, switching the position of your legs when in the air. Loosen the landing well. Jump again to return to the starting position. Count once.