You know a pair of heels is in instant game changer. So you’ve finally broken down and invested in those stilettos you’ve been coveting at the mall. But what about your calves – can they carry them off? But even out of high heels, well-defined calf muscles help shape your legs. If you are looking to sculpt and define one of your body’s best assets then make sure you include these exercises into your routine. These four easy moves will draw attention to your calves and not your cankles (when your calf and ankle merge seamlessly into one) to give your lower legs centre stage!
You’ve been working on your glutes, your thighs, your core, your biceps and triceps and you’re looking pretty good. Now the final touch to get that definition.
A biokineticist at Virgin Active gives us the heads up on how to develop killer calves.
Warm up and work out: The treadmill
Set the treadmill on an incline and walk or run, you will soon feel your calves working and at the same time you are getting a good warm up and cardiovascular work out. The step machine is also a great calf builder – set it to a comfortable resistance and climb the stairs with most of your weight on your toes….
Drills for your calves
Mini W drills
Stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart. Imagine a W shape on the floor. Stand with your feet on the back of the
“w”. The top of the “w” is a foot-distance away from the back. Run with the right, followed by the left leg to the front of the “w” and then back on the right, back on the left. Repeat as fast as possible for 30seconds (think “forward, forward, back, back”).
3 sets of 30 second drills
Machine standing calf raises
Place your shoulders under the pads provided and position your toes facing forwards. The balls of your feet should be secured on top of the calf block with your heels extending off it. Push the lever up by extending your hips and knees until your torso is standing upright. Raise your heels as you breathe out. Make sure that your knee is kept stationary at all times. There should be no bending at any time. Return to the starting position.
3 sets of 10-12 reps
Standing calf raises
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your toes pointing towards the front. Raise your heels off the floor and hold this position for a few seconds. Return to the starting position.
3 sets of 10-12 reps
Tip toe pliệ squat
Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, with your toes pointed out to 45 degrees. Your arms can be positioned in front of your chest for balance or hold onto a bar for support. Keeping your core contracted, lift your heels off the floor and squat. Hold this position momentarily and squeeze your glutes to stand up and slowly lower your heels.
Beneficial interval training
The typical cardio intervals that you may insert between exercises to give you an interval training workout, not only have fitness benefits but many of them will work your legs and particularly your calves, in ways they’ve never been worked before! Insert 30 seconds of each of the below, high-intensity exercises between each strength training exercise.
– Jumping jacks
– Step ups
– Ski jumps
Advice from the pro says, “Don’t forget to end off your session with 5-10 minutes of easy-paced walking and some total body stretches.”
Giving your calves some post workout (or stiletto) TLC
1. Standing a little away from a solid support structure (a wall), lean on the support with your forearms. Bend one leg and place the other leg straight behind you.
2. Transfer your weight and hips gently over the front bent leg and keep the heel of your back foot on the ground with your toes facing the front. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other leg
3. Sit with one leg straight and the other bent. Grasp the sole of the foot of the bent leg. Keeping your heel on the ground, pull your foot towards you until your feel a stretch in your calf. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, thenrepeat on the other leg.
With these exercises you’ll be putting your best ‘leg’ forward in no time!
If you are just beginning an exercise programme, start slowly and progress gradually. If you have an injury or medical condition chat to your doctor before beginning and exercise programme.