Are you one of those women who has a well-built set of calves but still doesn’t know how to define them in ways that should make them a head-turner? Have you always wished to complement that pair of shorts, skirts, and heels with toned calves but couldn’t because you’re still unsure of how to do them? If your answer is yes to all of these, this is now your chance to show the world how adamant you are in transforming your legs into something that can be a symbol strength and discipline — and what could be sexier than owning these strong calves?
Today, we’ll look into ways to carve your calves into toned and tight ones. But before we delve into them, let’s have a brief discussion first about the anatomy of our calves — a talk that is as crucial as it is necessary to know before we get these exercises.
A Brief Anatomy Of A Calf
The gastrocnemius and the soleus are the two main muscles that are located right in our calves. The former is considered as the main muscle that can be seen when you’re standing on your toes. It elevates the heel as we’re in this position. It’s not only relatively small than that of the soleus muscle, but it also accounts for about 40 percent of the calf’s total volume. “Gastroc” is comprised mainly of muscle fibers that are “fast-twitch.”
Meanwhile, soleus can be found beneath the side of your leg. This muscle is deemed to grow and develop further, culminating to that tone you’ve been aspiring for.
These muscles are what most women have been trying to sculpt when they want to get a pair of toned calves. As it goes, these activities do not only make them shapely, but ultimately attractive-looking.
5 Best Calf Workout Routines For Women
Note: The following exercises can have optimal results when done safely. As such, it is a must that you perform a warm up before doing them. You may do so by simply taking a jog or even walk for 10 minutes. Proper form must be exercised along with a maintained sense of focus. Select one exercise per day so you can veer yourself away from potential injury.
#1 Stripping it down to a barefoot running
Your calves will be more pronounced if you work out your calves without any footwear at all. Look for a run on a beach or your nearby football field to reap these benefits. But right before you do this, ensure that you warm up for a good 10 to 20 minutes. Sans your running shoes, start running barefoot for at least 10 to 20 minutes.
Barefoot running may also cost you less energy right when you utilize a forefoot strike since you’re using your feet’s springs along with the calf muscles so it can store and release energy. Ultimately, this running should beef up the strength of your feet muscles with more benefits in the arch.
#2 Sprinting your calves to the most voluptuous
Your regular running alone should be able to tone both of your legs. But if you want to carve your calves more into the “full-figured” type, sprinting once a week may do the trick. Upon warming yourself up (or go for a run) for at least 20 minutes, perform a sprint for 30 to 60 seconds. You can redeem yourself physically by either going for a walk or slow jog for 30 to 60 seconds. Perform the cycle (sprint & recovery) for at least four to eight reps.
Meanwhile, sprinting will also require you to not only strengthen and speed up your body but will likewise ask you to maintain power, acceleration, and sound technique. When you add these varying methods of sprint training such as traditional resistance training and plyometric, you’ll be able to beef up the figure of your calves while the times are being lowered.
#3 A jump with a rope to your calves’ greatness
As jumping with a rope allows you to stay on your very toes, your calf muscles are also directly involved. Perform a jump rope for 1 to 2 minutes: this should serve as your warm-up right before you go on a run, bike, or a swim. Note that you build your jumping rope session to a maximum 5 to 10 minutes.
Jump rope exercises are especially known to be exceedingly effective in targeting your calf muscles. These engage our calves in different, dynamic approaches. There is a variety of jumping rope exercises that you can choose from — all of which can benefit your calves effectively. These include the perennial favorite which is the most regular, the basic jump, the front-to-back, the side-to-side, the alternate foot step, the high-knee step, the single leg jump, and the double under.
You may include one of these seven (or all of which) right into your routine. In time, you’ll be saying goodbye to those unappealing chicken legs.
#4 The sublime leg press machine
The leg press machine should probably be your best ally when you’d like to work your calves. Particularly used to improve your quadriceps, this machine can do wonders on your calves especially if you know how to tweak it. To do that, simply sit on the machine then place the balls of your feet right push plate’s bottom. Then, you can move the plate with the aid of your toes and your feet’s balls. It’s suggested that you only utilize a lighter weight as your calves will do most of the work. Perform 10 to 12 reps in each of your foot; three sets are highly encouraged in this regimen.
Meanwhile, the leg press machine is best used if you opt to work all of your lower body muscles. When you extend your pair of knees against the resistance that is provided by the leg press, your thigh muscles are being worked. Also, this extending action should work your butt or also known as the gluteus maximus muscles; your leg bones are also strengthened by the load-bearing effect of the machine.
#5 The calf raise and its sheer simplicity
Probably the easiest way to improve the lower muscles on your legs is by calf raise. But if you think about it, this exercise is being done on a daily basis without you knowing it. When you reach for something at the very top of your cupboard or attempt to get a baking soda at the top of your drawer, a calf raise is being performed here. To top that off, calf raise can be done just about anywhere: when you’re brushing your teeth or when you’re washing dishes.
Performing a calf raise regularly beefs up both the gastrocnemius and soleus. If you want to improve more on “gastroc,” you can do a standing calf raise; if you want to focus more on your soleus, add a bending when you perform this exercise.
Chicken legs among women can be prevented if one must know. The alternatives above are a way of telling that there’s no excuse when one wants to have those well-carved calves. From the easiest, calf raises and the usage of a leg press machine, to the essentials barefoot running and sprinting, muscular female calves are definitely achievable. The key really is to equip oneself with the right knowledge about your calf’s anatomy and perform these exercises one step at a time!
Emily is founder of BodyShape101.com, a blog where she and her associates talk about exercise, fitness, and yoga. Their aim is to help people like you to achieve perfect body. BodyShape101 is concentrated on exercise & fitness tips, and making the most out of it. She is also a mother of one and she tries to find balance between her passion and her biggest joy in life.