One of the most noticeable features of our legs is the calf muscle. The calf muscle, when toned and built, can actually help give off the appearance of a slimmer thigh. Whether it’s time to rock skinny jeans or pull out your summer shorts, you need to make sure your calves look as tight as possible. The calves can be fickle foes when trying to get them into shape, as they need high-repetition exercises to push them past the rigors they endure on a daily basis.
Standing Calf Raises: You can do these on a weighted calf machine or on some sort of platform, even a stair without weights in your own home. Simply lower your weight down into your heels as they are leaning off the edge of the platform, then using your calf muscles, raise up to your tip-toes and hold for 1-2 seconds. Do at least 20-50 reps for 3 sets. Calves respond to higher reps, and not a lot of weight is needed as we are looking to tone, not necessarily make them larger.
Stairs or Stair Climber: Nothing tones your calves while getting your heart pumping like a good old-fashioned stair workout on traditional stairs or a stair master. Aim for 30 minutes or more per session to carve out those calf muscles. We recommend even doing some runs up and down some outdoor bleachers.
Mountain Climbers: Start in a push up position and make sure your abs are tight and contracted. Start running your legs in and out. Repeat as fast as you can for one minute. Mountain climbers are an all-over leg strengthener, and the explosive jumping movement strengthens your calves. Click here for more information on mountain climbers!
Calf Presses: You’ll need a leg press. Set the weight anywhere from 20-70 lbs. Press the weight with your calf muscles only and go for plenty of reps, again around 20-50 for 3 sets.
Stationary Bike: You can give your calves an extra boost by setting up a stationary bike with the pedals lower than normal. This will put you in a position where your calves have to push constantly, while also getting your aerobics in.
Jump Rope: Jumping rope is a great calf exercise, plus it is a great fat burner, cheap, and can be performed just about anywhere. No rope? Just jump up and down on the balls of your feet for 30 seconds. Rest and repeat for 3 sets.