5 Killer Calf Exercises

calf workout, calf exercises, lower leg workout

5 Killer Calf Exercises

Toned calves are an essential part of having good legs but are often forgotten about in lower leg workouts. The calf is made up of the gastrocnemius muscle, which gives the calf its rounded shape and the soleus which is the flat longer muscle that runs underneath the gastrocnemius and down the leg. Here are 5 moves that isolate these muscles and will guarantee you have killer, sculpted calves.

Standing Calf Raise

Place the front half of your feet on a step so that your heel extends off the end of the step. Slowly raise yourself up and then back down by pushing on the ground will the balls of your feet. Let your heel come slightly lower than the step on the way back down. To make this more challenging try doing it one legged or while holding weights in your hands. To make it easier, ditch the step and do this from a normal standing position.

standing leg raises, calf workout, calf exercises, lower leg workout

Recommended: 1 min intervals at steady pace

Ski hops

These work your calf from a side angle while also working your inner and outer thighs, glutes and core. Start standing up on the balls of your feet, jump about a foot to your right, landing only on the ball of your right foot. Let your left foot swing behind your right leg. Jump from the balls of your right foot about 2 feet to your left and land on the ball of your left foot, allowing your right foot to swing behind your left leg. Repeat so you move left and right, switching your jumping leg.

Ski hops, calf workout, calf exercises, lower leg workout

Recommended: 1 min intervals as fast as possible

Hop

This exercise is particularly effective because jumping gets your calf from every area and burns calories at the same time. Bend one leg at the knee so all of your weight is on the second leg. Now lift you heel off the floor 2-3 inches so all of your weight is on the ball of your foot. Repeatedly jump several inches off the ground, landing only on the ball of your foot. To make this more challenging, place a sturdy object that’s 4-6 inches high in front of you and hop on and off of that. After 30 seconds switch to your other leg.

hops, calf workout, calf exercises, lower leg workout

Recommended: 1 min intervals as quickly as possible

Seated Calf Raise

Sit on a firm, sturdy chair with your feet flat on the floor, your knees aligned directly over your feet and your spine straight. Place some weight on your thighs (either gym weights or just something heavy). Push on the floor with the balls of your feet so your heels are lifted as high as possible. Then slowly lower your heels back to the ground and repeat.

seated leg raises, calf workout, calf exercises, lower leg workout

Recommended: 1 min intervals at steady pace

One legged jumps with arm raise

Start on the ball of your right foot (your left foot should not touch the ground for the duration of the exercise). Bend your right knee slightly and bend at your waist so you are touching your right toe with your left fingers. Push off the ground and jump as high into the air as you can. Open up your torso and arm and reach as high into the air as you can. When you land bend your knees and cushion your landing as best as possible. Immediately lower your left arm to your toes and repeat. After 30 seconds switch to your left leg.

Recommended: 1 minutes as fast as possible

See how many repetitions you can get in during the 1 minutes and then try to beat it next time. Rest for 30 seconds in between intervals.

Workout challenge for awesome legs

Image

Hey all, see if you can finish this leg challenge! Start warming up by bouncing on your toes so your feet leave the ground ever so slightly, every 5th bounce jump as high as you can and try to bring your knees to your chest, do this for 2 minutes.  From there move into 20 squats, legs shoulder width apart, bring your butt right down so your knees are at a 90 degree angle.  Then do 40 calf raises by going up onto your tippy toes, holding for one count and then lowering.  Now back to squats.  Go down into squat position and jump straight up so your feet leave the air, land back in the squat position and repeat 12 times.  Then do 15 lunges on each side, step forward with one foot and bend your knee to a 90 degree angle, lowering your weight so its between both your legs, bend your back leg at a 90 degree angle also.  Make sure you front knee does not extend past your toe.  Try to move through these exercises without taking a break, if you can’t, take a quick break whenever you see an arrow.  Hop up and down for 30 seconds on one leg and then do the same with the other.  With your back flat against a wall ‘sit’ so your knees are at a 90 degree angle for 60 seconds.  Back to squats again.  This time with you feet much wider, when down in the squat reach and touch the ground, do this 40 times.  Move directly into burpees. Start in the standing position, crouch down so your hands are on the ground, kick your legs back out behind you so you are in pushup position, kick your legs back underneath you and then jump straight up with your arms above your head so your feet leave the ground, repeat 15 times. Kick as high as you can in the air 15 times with each leg.  Finish with 50 jumping jacks.  I hope you enjoy, feel free to ask me any questions!

Fat burning agility workout

fast foot ladder, agility workout, ladder workout, speed workout, agility ladder, agility workout

Here’s a nice easy agility workout that will get your heart rate right up and work on sculpting your legs.  If you’ve been running a lot, mix it up and do this some days to break up the monotony of jogging.  All you need is some comfy running shoes and an agility ladder.  If you don’t have an agility ladder, don’t worry, you’ll just have to get crafty! If you are inside get some masking tape and tape the rungs of the ladder on the ground about 1-1 1/2 feet apart.  If you are on grass or any other surface where tape won’t stick you can use objects as the rungs of the ladder.  An example of this could be to lay out sticks the appropriate distance apart.  You may have to adjust your  makeshift ladder as you go through the workout though.  There are 7 different patterns, go through the ladder once with the first pattern, the single run, and sprint several yards after finishing the ladder.  Then turn around and jog back to the beginning.  Repeat this 5 times for each pattern.  Take a 60s break and then go through the sequence 3 more times.  Remember to alternate which foot you start with!

The single run is basically just a sprint with very short strides through the ladder.  In the double run, place your left foot in the first rung, then your right foot in the first rung, then your left foot in the 2nd rung and then your right foot in the second rung.  Again this will be like running but with even shorter strides.  For the icky shuffle place your right foot in the first rung, then your left foot in the first rung.  Next put your right foot just outside of the second rung and your left foot in the second rung in front of where your right foot used to be.  Then move your left foot to its original position but in the third run and then your right foot in its original position in the third rung. Then place your left foot just outside the 4th rung and so on and so forth. For the hopscotch, start with both feet next to each other, jump and split your legs so both your feet land outside the ladder on the second rung.  Then jump and put your legs back together so your feet our side by side in the third rung.  The space jumps are essentially just two footed jumps.  The side jumps are the same but side ways.  For the in and out,start facing side ways with your two feet together.  With your leading foot step outside of the ladder and then follow with the trailing foot.  Then place your leading leg back inside the ladder in the second rung and follow with the trailing leg.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!