How to get killer calves
If you don’t regularly exercise your calves, you’re not alone. The calves are a frequently overlooked muscle group, but if you want your legs to look great when you wear a skirt, you need to do more than just walk around in high heels. To make your calves look especially sexy, try performing two to three sets of these three moves into your next exercise routine.
Seated calf raises
Your calves consist of two major muscles – the soleus and the gastrocnemius. When you perform seated calf raises, you target the deeper, soleus muscle. Sit on a bench with the balls of your feet on a 45 lb. plate weight so that your heels hang off the edge slightly. Place a second plate weight of your choosing across your thighs. Allow your heels to dip down toward the ground before pressing up with your calves, extending your ankle as you move into a “tip toe” position. Steadily lower your calves back toward the ground and continue performing the exercise 12 to 15 times.
Standing calf raises
Standing calf raises target both the gastrocnemius and soleus as you lift your entire body weight off the ground. Stand with your feet approximately hip-width apart and hold a set of dumbbells in your hands. Tighten your calves and press up through the balls of your feet as you move into a “tip toe” position. Hold the position for a count or two, then steadily lower your heels back to the floor. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
When you climb up a series of steps, you have to engage your calves to help lift your body up toward the next step. If your gym has a stair climb machine, walk the set of rotating stairs as quickly as you can for two to three minutes. Rest for a minute, then repeat the series of stair climbs two more times. The key here is to push yourself to walk or jog as fast as you can, really causing your calves to burn. If you don’t have access to a machine, use the stairs in your house or at your office to perform a similar exercise. Simply climb up the stairs as fast as you can, then walk back down. Repeat the exercise until you have walked up and down the flight of stairs 10 to 12 times.
Article by Laura Williams
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