You spend a lot of time training your glutes, hamstrings and quads, but what about your calves? For the most part, the calf muscles are one of the most neglected parts of the body.
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Perform the following routine once every six to seven days to sculpt a pair of tight, toned calves. Take a two-minute rest between sets. Beginners should only do one set of each exercise. Intermediates two sets and the more advanced who are already well into regular lower leg exercises should do three sets of each exercise.
Calf Raise on Leg Press Machine
Warm up with no added discs, just the weight of the sliding footplate. Aim for 30 to 40 repetitions, getting as much stretch in the lower legs as possible.
Setup: Make sure your back is locked in tight to the backrest. Keep your head back and toe area on the footplate.
Action: Push the footplate as high as possible. Lower as much as possible, aiming for a full stretch. Repeat until rep count is complete.
Tip: this is a small but effective move.
Seated Calf Raise
This exercise primarily works the soleus, the area between the calf (gastrocnemius) and the ankle.
Setup: Sit on the seat pad as indicated, keeping your upper body upright. Place your knees under the lifting pads as shown.
Action: Raise up on your toes as high as possible. Lower to the lowest possible position. Repeat until your rep count is achieved.
Tip: No machine? Sit with legs bent, weight placed on your thighs.
Standing Calf Raise
This is the granddaddy of all lower leg exercises.
Setup: Adopt a position under the shoulder pads as shown, with your toes on the footrest. Keep your back upright and flat.
Action: Raise up on your toes to their highest point. Lower to their lowest point, feeling a strong stretch in your lower legs. Raise and repeat until your rep goal is complete.
Tip: dip your heels before pressing up.