Want to jump higher? walk further? Become more of a boss? Cool, we looks like you’ve made it to the right place. Here, I’m going to be discussing the best calf exercises that will aid in your development. The calf muscles are amongst the hardest muscles to gain mass. You activate your calf muscles any time your foot is wiggled, try it now, hold your foot up and wiggle it round in circle, you’ll notice it doesn’t wiggle side to side all that much, however, there’s a lot of play when pointing your foot up and down.
When you raise your foot, the muscle on the front of your tibia is activated, we call this muscle the soleus. This muscle is never really exercised much as it doesn’t really come in handy for a lot of things. Off the top of my head, I know, drummers have a much stronger soleus than the average person, using it to repeatedly lift the foot after hitting the bass pedal.
When you press your foot down, the muscle activated is the gastrocnemius, that’s the technical name of the calf muscle on the back of your lower leg. Calves come in handy for things such as: Jogging, jumping, walking in high heels, swimming. In essence, the gastrocnemius puts the spring in your step. So here are the best calf exercises.
Calf Raises: Sometimes there will be specific machines for this in the gym. If there aren’t, holding a pair of dumbbells, repeatedly stand up on your tip toes. To get a greater range of movement out of this, perform on the edge of a step, balance on a step with your toes supported on the edge and your heels hanging freely. Allow your heels to dip as far as possible then, raise yourself by contracting those calves. Get creative, think of other ways you can shift weight by extending your foot, why not try a calf press?
Jogging: Think about the movements of your feet when jogging. You never actually plant your heel on the ground, you constantly run on your tip toes. Each step you’re using your calf muscles. You may not be performing sets and reps, however exercises such as jogging and the bike are aiding the development of your cardiovascular health.
Exercise Bike: A fantastic workout for your calves and quads. Unlike jogging, the exercise bike also cuts back on the impact damage on your joints preserving them for longer.
What’s your favourite calf exercise?