Calf injuries are common in sportspersons, especially in those who play more intensive sports like rugby and soccer. However, this does not mean that you can get away from it without working on your leg muscles. Here’s why it is so important to keep working on them and keep on strengthening them every day. This discussion includes the significance of toning your gluteus maximus or tailbone too).
Your calves are found on the lower half of your legs and they’re an important muscle group for maintaining balance, supporting strength, and protecting you from injury. They surround your Achilles tendon, so all athletes, especially runners, should be sure to keep them in top shape.
They occur as two groups working together in close tandem. The larger one is called the gastrocnemius and it is the rounder muscle at the top of the calf, while the soleus is the long muscle running horizontally up and down the lower leg. Any good calf strengthening exercise usually focuses on both these muscle groups
Your leg muscles need some special attention because they support your weight and help you move. While this may seem all too obvious, you can feel the effect of weaker leg muscles immediately after waking up in the morning or after recovering from a long illness. The funny thing is that most people give it the minimum importance or ignore it altogether in their daily workout plans.
Working on your lower body to gain leg muscles would help you better stability, strength, lower risk of limb injury, more lean body mass, better endurance performance, and affect your confidence positively. These benefits also prep up as the functions of the gluteus maximus, the muscle that holds our butts and thighs together.
Our online fitness experts have recommended the following three best calf exercises for strengthening your lower body:
This is the standard exercise for targeting the calf muscle. Stand close to a wall so that you can reach out for balance. Keep your knees loose and not locked. Bring your weight onto the balls of your feet, tuck your hips slightly and engage your core.
Slowly, with purpose, rise onto the balls of your feet, squeezing your calf muscles. Pause at the top. Slowly lower back down to the ground. Repeat this ten to twenty times. If this feels too easy, two variations will increase intensity.
First, try standing on a step or a bench, with the balls of your feet firmly on the surface, but your heels hanging off. Sink your heels as low as you can go, then rise onto your toes. This increases the range of motion, making the calf muscle work harder.
Secondly, add a dumbbell into the exercise. Holding onto weight while you practice the calf raises will make the exercise more intense.
Similar to the standing calf raise, this calf strengthening exercise starts when you stand on one leg. Stand close to a wall, tuck your hips and engage your abs. Keep your knees loose and not locked. Pick up one foot. You can hook this foot behind the other leg, or simply hold it floating in the air.
Slowly, rise onto the ball of your standing foot, squeezing your calf at the top, then lower back down. Repeat this exercise ten to twenty times on each leg. You may also add a variation for the standing calf raise apply to this exercise.
These are three similar exercises that will all be very beneficial for your calves. Climbing up hills and stairs requires a lot of exertion on the part of your calf muscles. If you are lucky enough to live near some mountains, get outside and hit the trails!
If you don’t have a mountain nearby, head to a nearby staircase, or go to your gym and hop on the Stairmaster. Alternatively, you can walk on a treadmill that is set to have a steep incline. All of these exercises will engage your calves and help you build strength.
The above-mentioned rank among some of the best calf exercises that one can do to gain leg muscles. To get the most out of them, you should make it a point to stay regular with them and not to do them without expert guidance.
Because they are part of your legs, calf muscles are very easy to target. Yet they are so often ignored during weight lifting routines. If you want to protect yourself from injury and increase your overall strength, consider adding these calf exercises into your weekly routine. You’ll notice differences in no time.
Your calf, lower and inner thighs, and butts are the hardest of all flab to burn and to build a leaner body. It is best to work on them using a concreted plan of eating a proper diet and working out proportionately. Nothing is better than a sound mind living in a sound body, ask an expert!
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