A lot of men might have the idea that calves do not form a part of their appearance and hence, they can skip on this workout. But, this is a flawed idea, to be honest. Not only do your calf muscles add a lot to your appearance, but calf muscles exercise also has tons of advantages.
If you are into athletics, you would be knowing that it is our calf muscles that generate the required power in our bodies to walk, run, or jump. Almost all sports players have a routine of a heavy calf workout. Sports wherein the players are required to make long jumps like basketball or volleyball, therein, a strong calf can prove to be very advantageous.
If you do not pay attention to your calves, it is likely to limit your ankle mobility and increase the possibility of injuries like shin splints, etc. Calf muscles are, therefore, the building block of stability in our bodies, and your workout is incomplete without some exercises for calf muscles.
What are the best exercises for calf muscles?
The calf muscles comprise two types of muscles: gastrocnemius and soleus. While the former helps in gaining speed, acceleration, jumping, and other such activities, the latter is responsible for walking and your endurance during running. For a proper calf workout, you must target both of these muscles through exercises, and we are here to help you with this.
Let’s see what are some calf exercises muscles that can greatly benefit you.
1. Standing calf raise:
- Hold a dumbbell in your left hand.
- Now stand on an elevated surface with your left foot, its heels hanging off.
- Make your right toes rest on your left ankle.
- Now, raise your left foot as high as you can.
- Keep your core tight and then, slowly lower your heel below the surface and you will be able to feel a stretch in your calf.
- Repeat with your right leg on the surface.
You can take a break of around 45 seconds between each set.
2. Seated dumbbell calf raise:
- Sit down on a bench or a chair and keep your feet flat on the ground.
- Hold two dumbbells on the top of your thighs, and keep your core engaged.
- Life your feet from the ground slowly as high as you can, and lower them down gently.
- Repeat the process.
Break: 45 seconds between each set.
3. Farmer’s walk:
- Hold a dumbbell in each of your hands.
- Stand on your toes.
- Walk as fast as you can and as far as you can on your toes, without your heels touching the ground.
- Repeat it twice or thrice.
You can take a 2-3 minutes rest in between each set and if you are a beginner, we would suggest you start with small weights and gradually move on to higher weights. This will help you maintain a proper balance.
4. Jumping rope:
Skipping or jump rope is a good exercise to improve your body coordination and help you with your endurance, and is considered to be a very beneficial calf muscles exercise.
Hold the ends of your jump rope in both hands.
Spin the rope under your feet and over your head, and jump with both your feet simultaneously.
- Get down in a tabletop position.
- Take your knees below your hips.
- Press your palms firmly on the ground and lift your knees slowly, extending your hips upward off the ground.
- Straighten your legs to create a triangle shape between the ground and your body.
- Keep your core engaged and lengthen your spine, lifting your hips as high as possible.
6. Calf stretch against the wall:
- Stand at a distance of an arm from the wall.
- Bend your front knee slightly and lean in the forward direction.
- Press your hands against the wall and your heel into the ground.
- Repeat by switching between the legs.
7. Jumping jacks:
- Stand straight with your arms at the sides.
- Spread your legs, and claps your hands over your head, while also simultaneously jumping.
- Repeat around 20 times.
- You can rest for around a minute between each of the total 3-4 sets.
8. Dumbbell jump squat:
- Stand straight with a dumbbell in each hand and your feet placed slightly apart, almost shoulder width.
- Push your hips down till your thighs become parallel to the ground to make a squat.
- Straighten your legs, coming off the squat position, and jump off the ground.
- Land down in the squat position once again and repeat the entire procedure.
9. Box jumps:
- Find a steady box of an average height and stand at some distance from it.
- Keep your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Lower your hips down into a quarter squat and jump onto the box.
- Land gently, and gain control over your body.
- Practice this calf workout at home to gain strength in your legs, including your calves.
Take a 45-50 seconds rest in between each set.
10. Lateral lunge:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Step out with your right foot and shift the weight of your body over your right leg, and make a 90-degree angle squat at the right knee.
- Push and bring your right leg to the centre gently.
- Repeat with the left leg.
This calf exercise will develop your body’s stability giving you strength in your calves.
Exercising should be a part of your routine, and you must follow it like you follow going for work daily. These 10 exercises for calf muscles are enough to maintain your calves strong and increase your endurance. Always start with less, slowly, and gradually increase according to your capacity and limits.
You can always go heavy or light on the weights according to what suits you the best and always try increasing the weight after some days or months. Keep pushing your limits to the most extreme levels.
We hope these calf muscles exercises help you and you do not miss out on this one important aspect of your body workout, i.e. the calf workout.
Keep exercising and stay healthy!