Developing calf muscles is not a difficult task if you know the right calf exercises. These exercises may not necessarily require elaborated set of equipment. There are a number of exercises discussed in this article, that can be easily done at home to get perfectly shaped calf muscles.
There are two muscles, which make up the calves, namely Gastrocnemius and Soleus. It is these muscles, which are of help, when one wants to extend his foot or point and flex the toes. At the same time, the same set of muscles are used, when one walks, runs, jumps or pedals. The gastrocnemius is the larger of the two muscles and it is located on the outer side of the calf. The soleus muscle is the smaller muscle, that extends from the tibia and fibula and moves down to the Achilles tendon. To develop these muscles and get them into proper shape, calf exercises can be very helpful.
Best Calf Exercises
It is commonly seen, that the calf exercises are relegated to the least preferred, when it comes to work out. However, this should be avoided, and the calf muscles should also be worked, like any other part of the body at regular intervals.
Standing Calf Raises
This exercise can be done with a calf raise machine. Stand with the balls of your feet on the edge of the step with your heels hanging down. Initially you may require support to do this exercise. Now, gradually, transfer your weight onto the balls of the feet and toes and raise your heels up. Hold this position for a few seconds, and slowly bring your heels down, but the heels should be off the ground.
Now try to transfer the weight of your body to the heels and hold this position for a few seconds, before you start with the next repetition. This exercise should be practiced at least 10 to 12 times. You can also do this exercise without the machine. You just have to perform the same procedure on a flat surface, using only your body weight.
Donkey Calf Raises
This calf exercise will necessarily have to be done on the donkey calf raise machine. To do this exercise, your toes should be placed on the edge of the block. Now, gradually, lean onto the bench for support. It is best to do this exercise with a partner for added resistance. Let your partner sit across your hips, but ensure extra pressure is not exerted on your lower back. Now slowly lower your heels as much as you can and then slowly raise them up again to transfer weight onto the balls of the feet. Repeat the exercise 10 to 12 times to get better results.
It is a compound exercise, which works the quadriceps, buttocks as well as the calves. To do this exercise, keep shoulder width distance between your feet and extend your hands in front of you. Slowly, lower your torso as you bend your knees, but ensure that your knees do not cross over your toes. Lower your torso, such that your thighs are parallel to the floor and stay in that position for a count of 10, before you come back to the starting position and repeat the exercise.
You will have to use the leg press machine to do this exercise. Sit on the machine, such that your feet are placed properly on the pedal. Using strength in your calves slowly push the platform away from you and then gradually release the platform, but at no point should you remove your legs from the platform, lest you will hurt yourself. Let your legs come in so much that your knees are about to touch your chest. Slowly extend your legs out again and repeat the exercise.
Higher number of repetitions does not mean well-built calf muscles. It is best to do lesser number of repetitions, but they should be done slowly, and the person should hold the position for a longer period of time. Often, when people are doing calf exercises, they do not pay attention to their range of motion. Full range of motion should be completed, to derive the best from these exercise. At no point of time should you hold your breath, continue to breathe slowly to increase blood supply to the calves. To get the best results, it is important to do these exercises regularly and should be considered an important part of your workout regime.