Calf exercises play a significant role in the proper functioning of your calf muscles. Placed on the legs’ lower back area – calf muscles are regarded as indispensable to enhance your overall physical health, and involve two prime muscle groups such as the gastrocnemius and the soleus muscles, both of which are responsible for any kind of movement pertaining to your lower leg as well as feet. However, calf muscles could function effectively only if they are healthy and strong. Here comes the importance of calf exercises. Some of the incredible benefits of calf exercises are enhanced aerobic movements, improved speed and agility, reduced impact during jumping or running, reduction of discomforts that occur during periods, and reduced stress. Further discussed in this article are the top calf exercises.
Standing Calf Raises
This exercise is effective for the functioning of both the gastrocnemius and the soleus muscles. Standing calf raises can be performed anywhere on a step. However, for best results, it would be better if you could do it on a gym machine.
Seated Calf Raises
Seated calf raises are especially designed to improve the performance of the soleus muscles, which is made up of type I slow twitch muscle fibers. The movements involved in this exercise are considered excellent to tone and shape your calf muscles. Prior to starting this exercise, it is important to ensure that you use the right machine and appropriate weight in order to carry out the preferred amount of reps.
Exercise Ball Calf Raises
Exercise Ball Calf Raises is one of the most comfortable as well as the easiest ways to strengthen and develop your calves. It can be done at home, and all you require to perform this exercise is an exercise ball.
Calf Exercise with Weights
This exercise promotes for a strong, healthy calf muscles. First of all, sit on a chair or a bench while keeping your feet straight on the floor. Hold the weight in such a way that it should be placed across your thighs. Raise your toes a little off the floor. Maintain this for one to two seconds.
Single Leg Swiss Ball Calf Raises
This is yet another exercise to strengthen your calf muscles. It can be done using a Swiss ball and two dumbbells. Place the Swiss Ball on the wall, and then keep your chest against it. As the next step, keep a dumbbell in each hand. Then slowly lift your one feet and lower down.
A great exercise to build calf muscles as well as develop explosive strength, plyometric work-outs are on the basis of muscle elasticity principle. However, this work-out program is not recommended for beginners.
All sports with sprinting as well as changing movements are considered excellent for building the calves. Among the exercises that are effective to build and strengthen calf muscles are weight lifting, football, tennis, soccer, and track and field.
Undertaking vertical activities such as hiking, climbing up stairs, and running atop the hill are regarded highly effective to build and strengthen your calf muscles. Both gastrocnemius and soleus are contracted with greater tension during vertical activities, which in turn is equivalent to several times your body’s weight.
Cycling is also a perfect way to develop your calf muscles, as it allows the gastrocnemius and the soleus to work for longer periods.
Forward Bent Lunge
This calf exercise should be done using weights. First of all, hold weights and bring it up towards the shoulders. Then, step towards the front in a lunge posture while slightly bending your waist. Come back to the starting position in order to continue the same process with another leg.