Calf Raises
For Great Shaped Legs



Calf raises will quickly tone your calf muscles (the back of your lower legs). Use the best technique to avoid injury and get great results with these videos and instructions.

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As is the case with any muscles at the back of our bodies, the calves tend to be forgotten. It's the age old "out of sight, out of mind" scenario.

So I'm glad you're here, because calf raises give a great toned shape to any kind of legs. Not only that, your calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus) attach to the achilles tendon, so strengthening them plays an important role in protecting you from injury.

Added to all of that, strong calf muscles will give you a boost to your performance in activities like running, jumping and cycling.

If you're one of the many people who have large calves, and are upset because they look out of proportion, well there's 2 probable reasons for this.

The 1st is that we all have different body shapes, and you may have naturally large calf muscles. Unfortunately there's not much that can be done to make them smaller. The positive is that your other muscles should be in proportion, so hopefully your calves won't look out of place.

The common myth is that large muscles are strong muscles, that's not always true if you have naturally large muscles. Strengthening and toning them will not only protect you from injury, but also make your calves look more streamlined and not so bulky.

The 2nd reason is that you have fat covering your calf muscles. I often get complaints about "flabby calves", and that calf raises don't work for them.

Actually the calf raises are working just fine in making the calf muscles stronger, but they won't do much to burn fat above the muscles.

So the answer is to do fat burning exercises that'll quickly burn your overall body fat. You'll end up with the best fat-free, toned calves. Motivation or what!

Exercise Pictures

Calf Raises

Here are the best exercises to strengthen your calf muscles. Not sure about your reps and sets? Click here.

1. Standing Calf Raises with Dumbbells

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, and legs as straight as possible (without locking the knees).
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand and keep your arms down by your sides (if you don't have dumbbells you can continue without them).
  • Raise onto the balls of your feet, moving only at your ankles.
  • Then slowly come back down, keeping your balance without rocking back onto your heels.
  • Repeat until you've completed your reps and sets.

Tips:

  1. Keep your back neutral (not overly arched or slouched), and your core braced for stability and balance.
  2. Keep your knees still throughout without locking them.
  3. Keep the movement slow and controlled. Avoid rocking from heels to toes.
  4. Exhale as you raise up, inhale as you recover back down.
  5. You can make this exercise harder by standing with the balls of your feet on the edge of a step. Try it without dumbbells first, then progress when you can keep balanced.


2. Seated Calf Raises

  • Sit on a chair or stool with a thick book on the floor in front of you.
  • Place a dumbbell at the end of your right thigh (just above your knee).
  • Position the ball of your right foot on the edge of the book, heel on the floor.
  • Raise onto the ball of your foot, moving only at your ankle.
  • Slowly come back down to the starting position.
  • Complete your reps and then repeat with your left foot.

Tips:

  1. Keep your back neutral (not overly arched or slouched).
  2. Keep the movement slow and controlled.
  3. Keep a light hold on the dumbbell to make sure it doesn't fall!
  4. Exhale as you raise up, inhale as you recover back down.


3. Single Leg Calf Raises

  • Stand on the floor, wrap your left foot around the back of your right ankle.
  • Keep your right leg straight (without locking knees). Focus on your core muscles to stay balanced.
  • Raise onto the ball of your right foot, moving only at your ankle.
  • Then slowly come back down, keeping your balance without rocking back onto your heel.
  • Complete your reps and then repeat with your left foot.

Tips:

  1. Keep your back neutral (not overly arched or slouched).
  2. Keep the movement slow and controlled. Avoid rocking from heels to toes.
  3. Focus on a fixed point straight ahead to help you stay balanced.
  4. Exhale as you raise up, inhale as you recover back down.
  5. You can make this exercise harder by:
    - Holding dumbbells (as described above),
    - Standing with the ball of your foot on the edge of a step.

Calf Raise Videos

Enjoy these calf exercises! Need a visual idea of the best technique? Check out these quality videos:



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