It’s incredibly easy to overlook your calf muscles when planning a fitness regimen and instead direct your attention towards more aesthetically pleasing parts of the body. Unfortunately doing so will cause you to miss out on the countless biomechanical benefits that come with strong and developed calves. These muscles are responsible for stabilizing your movements and powering the body as you run, walk and jump. Skipping them as you train is only doing the body a disservice and ultimately slowing your progress. The positive effects of strengthening your calf muscles are endless and the workouts below will reveal the rewards that come with strong calves.
Protect Yourself From InjuryNeglecting any part of your body while exercising can lead to injury. The calves are important and essential to almost all movement, so focusing on these muscles during training can help you avoid unnecessary injuries and pains. As you strengthen your calf muscles you’ll become less prone to injuries like strains, pulls and tears. These injuries are easy to come across during your workouts, as the calves are constantly being pulled and stretched as you move. By stretching, training and strengthening your calf muscles you can avoid pushing these muscles beyond their limits and introducing unwanted pain that will ultimately halt your progress.
Stabilize Your MovementsIf your calves are strong you’ll be able to move better, faster and smarter. The calves are located at the base of your body, and because of this they often function as a stabilizer while your body moves. Strong calf muscles help keep your center of mass aligned with the rest of your body and maintain balance. The benefits reaped from strengthening your calves can be seen in your workouts and even during instances of standing for an extended period of time.
Look Sleek, Slender and FitWorking on your calves as you train will definitely increase your strength and power, but will also improve the overall appearance of your legs. Having toned and chiseled calves elongated the leg and create an attractive athletic look. Toned calf muscles compliment any pair of heels or dress by making your legs look strong and trimmed. As you strengthen your calf muscles you’ll find that you look fitter and your favorite pair of jeans will hug your legs a lot better. Introducing workouts that strengthen your calf muscles into your fitness regimen can be easy! These five exercises will help you get started and help you get stronger sooner.
Double-Leg Calf Raises
- Starting from a standing position, push your body up onto the balls of your feet. Remember to engage your core and keep your back straight in order to center your movements.
- Come back down onto your heels for a slight rest, and continue movement for 10-15 repetitions.
- For a more intense workout you can place the balls of your feet on a step or hold dumbbells.
- Skip rope for 50 repetitions as fast as you can.
- Flex your calf muscles as you jump by focusing on pushing up on your toes.
- Increase your repetitions until you reach 100, as you progress increase repetitions.
High or Low Pogo Jump
- Stand with your feet together and your knees slightly bent.
- For low pogo jumps, jump up as fast as you can as if you are jumping rope. For high pogo jumps, launch yourself up as high as you can and tuck your knees into your chest.
- Perform two to three sets of 40-50 repetitions when doing low pogo jumps, and 15 repetitions for high pogo jumps.
Seated Calf Raises
- While sitting in a sturdy chair place your feet flat on the floor. Make sure that your knees are directly aligned with your feet.
- Slowly raise your heels as high as you can by using the balls of your feet to push off the floor for 10-15 repetitions.
- To make this movement more difficult lean forward and place the hands on your thighs near your knees.
- Find a box or surface that’s high enough for you to get a workout.
- Stand directly in front of the box and use the balls of your feet to jump onto it. Land on the balls and toes of your feet, then step or jump back down. Repeat 8-10 repetitions for two to three sets.
- Increase repetition as movement becomes less exhausting.
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