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What are the best
calf exercises?

What are the best calf exercises?

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. This blog post explains how you can work on them and strengthen them every day with simple home-based workouts. We shall also discuss the significance of toning your gluteus maximus or tailbone.

Your calves are found on the lower half of your legs. They’re an important muscle group for maintaining balance, supporting strength, and protecting you from injury. They surround your highly sensitive Achilles tendon and this is why athletes, especially runners, keep them in top shape.

These muscles 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.

How to gain leg muscles?

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.

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.

The best calf exercises you can do at home without equipment

Our online fitness experts recommend the following three best calf exercises for strengthening your lower body. These fitness exercises do not require any equipment and can be done easily at home.

1. Standing Calf Raise

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.

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.

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.

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.

2. Single-Leg Calf Raise

Similar to the Standing Calf Raise exercise, this calf strengthening exercise requires you to 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.

Now try to stand on the other leg and use its foot to rise higher. Be sure not to use the other leg. This would squeeze your calf at the top Repeat this exercise ten to twenty times on each leg. You may also add a variation for the standing calf raise to this exercise.

Consider practicing it on a step, or add a weighted dumbbell. As with all exercises, be sure to maintain good form throughout. If your form is poor, adjust the exercise to make it easier for your body.

3. Hiking, Walking, or Climbing Stairs

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 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 do them without expert guidance.

Note: If you are an experienced fitness coach, we welcome you to go for a software-based approach to unify and expand your clientele on a secure online platform. It can also help you expand your visibility across geographical boundaries.

Special Case: Exercises for atrophied calf muscle

Atrophy of muscles is the result of living a lethargic, sedentary lifestyle. It wastes the muscles and tendons of the leg muscles (or any other body part that’s not exercised regularly). This experience is common with all fitness-minded professionals, sportspersons, runners, and swimmers.

Here are some exercises that you could do for atrophied calf muscles:

1. Double Leg Heel Raise

The easiest of all exercises for atrophied muscles, this one only requires you to stand straight on your toes for a few seconds. You can come back to the regular standing position after a few seconds. The key is to extend the time of standing on your toes and doing the exercises as often as you can do throughout the day.

2. Heel Raise Progression

It is the same as the previous exercise but you should do it with one leg at a time, preferably with a dumbbell in one hand. You should make sure that you should hold the weight in your right hand if you are standing on your right toe. The same holds for the left hand and left toe.

3. Rope Jumping

This one is a full-time fat-burning exercise that you could do to set your calf and leg muscles in the swing. You should try to do it for 15 minutes every day.

4. H: Running on a treadmill

If you have a treadmill at your home, you can start with some easy runs on the machine. If you feel your calf muscles are in some kind of tension, you can increase the speed and duration of the workout.

5. Cycling

Nothing could beat cycling as the most popular exercise for calf muscles. All it needs you to do is to wake up early, grab hold of your bicycle, and pedal yourself to fitness. You would be advised to do this exercise in the early morning because there would be little to no rush, something you cannot expect in the evenings.

6. Jogging and brisk walking

Jogging and brisk walking are the precursors to all your 5k Runs. Training for a 5k run can’t be accomplished until you have started your day with a bit of warmup, which in this case are jogging and brisk walking. These two exercises would reduce atrophy from your calf muscles and also improve your blood circulation for the sprint.

How long does muscle atrophy take to go away?

It usually takes two weeks to get rid of atrophy of the calf and other related muscle groups in the legs. The important thing is to not give up on routine fitness and to take a nutritious diet every day that matches your activity levels.

Calf Exercises with Weights

This section is meant for the more experienced fitness professionals who are looking to tone their legs, especially their calf and their gluteus maximus muscles (the largest muscle group found in the hip). They can do the following exercises to build their calf muscles with weights like barbells or dumbbells.

Here are some of the best calf exercises that you can do at home with weights:

1. Standing Barbell Calf Raise

Take a barbell and affix to it the requisite weight on either side. Now slide the bar over your back and slowly raise both your heels and hold the rod from both hands. Slowly return to the position once you feel the calf muscles are tense. Repeat.

2. Seated Barbell Calf Raise

Sit on a chair with your legs perpendicular to the ground. Gently put the weights a little on your thigh, behind your knee. Now try to raise your toes as high as you can without standing up. Hold and repeat.

3. BOSU ball Squat

This is one step ahead of Standing Barbell Calf Raise. It requires you to stand properly with a barbell slung on your back (behind your neck). Now squat with that weight on your shoulders. Remember to not do this exercise too fast or else it may hurt your spinal cord.

Let MevoLife’s virtual fitness experts help you with strengthening and toning your calves

Calf muscles are very easy to target because they are part of the legs. But they are also the most often ignored part of the body during weight lifting routines. If you want to protect yourself from injury and increase your strength, we recommend you talk to one of the virtual fitness experts on MevoLife to add some of the best calf exercises into your weekly routine.

Your calf (gastrocnemius), 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 concrete plan of eating a proper diet and working out proportionately. The choice rests with you to go for an at-home workout or for mixing it with a gym-based one. Consistency and hard work count just as much!