Build Your Best Calves Yet
Develop your legs from your hips to your ankles by adding these two calf exercises to your lower-body days.
Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
When it comes to leg-training days, your attention is probably on two areas and two areas only: your thighs and butt. Make sure your legs are defined from your hips to your ankles by adding these two calf exercises to your lower-body days.
Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise
Target Muscles: gastrocnemius
Set Up: Stand on the edge of an exercise step, staircase or sturdy ledge, letting your heels drop below its surface. Hold a heavy dumbbell in your left hand and grab a nearby wall or other structure for support with your right hand.
Action: Press through the balls of your feet to lift your heels. Hold for one count, then slowly return your heels to the start. Repeat for 10 to 12 reps. When your set is through, move the dumbbell to the other hand and repeat. Complete two sets per side for a total of four sets.
Seated Machine Calf Raise
Target Muscles: soleus
Set Up: Sit at the seated calf raise machine, adjusting the padding so it sits flush against your thighs. Grasp the handles in front of you and place your feet on the footrest, allowing your heels to extend past the edge.
Action: Lift your heels by pressing through the balls of your feet. Hold for one count, then slowly lower back to the starting position. Repeat for three sets of 12 to 15 reps.