Let’s talk about calves.
No, not baby cows, although they are adorable. We’re going to talk about your legs today. Your calves are some very important muscles that are used in everyday tasks, so it’s important to keep them in shape. Below we’ll talk about why you need to do calf workouts and then go over some you can do yourself at home.
So, why are calves important? The muscles in your calves are attached to your Achilles tendon, which is, of course, attached to your heel. All of these body parts flex and adjust whenever you walk or run. If you have weak calves these tasks can tire you out more easily, or even become painful.
We prevent this by keeping our calves strong, and here are five workouts to help you do that.
EXERCISE #1 – JUMP ROPE
If you don’t have a jump rope you can always mimic the movement on your own. Do small, short and fast jumps. Make sure to stay light on your toes and to keep up a quick pace. Keep your legs straight, only bending your knees slightly when landing to soften the blow.
EXERCISE #2 – CALF RAISES ON STEP
Using a step for this exercise will allow you to extend in both directions instead of just one. However, you can do it on solid ground if you would like. Use something, the stair banner or similar, to help keep your balance. Put the ball of your foot on the step with your heel hanging off the back. Raise yourself until your leg is extended, breathing out with the movement. Flex at the height of the rise, and then slowly lower yourself down.
EXERCISE #3 – SEATED CALF RAISE
This exercise can be done with a weight of some sort. Start with sitting on a chair with your legs at a 90 degree angle. Place a weight on your upper legs, above the knees. Raise your legs up onto your toes slowly, breathing out with the motion. Flex and lower your legs back down.
EXERCISE #4 – DONKEY CALF RAISE
This one can be done with another person for added resistance. Lean forward and place your hands on something sturdy, like a table, to keep your balance. If you have another person helping you, have them sit on your back, carefully, you don’t want to injure yourself. Raise yourself up onto your toes, making sure to keep your knees straight the entire time. Flex and lower yourself back down.
EXERCISE #5 – ANKLE CIRCLES
This one is great for cool down or even warm up. Start by standing on one leg, with the other extended out in front of you at a slight angle. You make a circle with your big toe, going around first in one direction and then in the other. Be sure to breathe normally through this.
And of course, don’t forget to stretch it out when you’re all done!