Performing calf raises are essential to maintain a symmetrical appearance of the legs. The ideal time to perform calf exercises is on the same day as a regular leg workout. For those who find it hard to pack on the lower leg muscle, it may be necessary to train the calves more than once a week.
5 Essential Exercises To Strengthen Your Calves
- Seated machine calf raises. If you are working out at a gym, sit down at the seated calf machine and place your knees under the pads. Set the weight plates to a light amount until you try out the exercise. Most machines have handles you can grab with your hands to keep your body in place. Start the calf raise by pushing up on the balls of your feet as high as you can. Hold the position for a count of one then slowly lower your feet back down to the floor. Repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions.
- Standing machine two-legged calf raises. This exercise also requires a special machine. Choose the amount of weight you want to lift, then step up onto the machine and slide your shoulders under the pads. Grip the top of the pads with your hands to stabilize your body. Begin the movement by standing on both tiptoes at the same time. Hold for a one-count then slowly lower your feet down to level. Continue the exercise until you finish the number of repetitions you want to do.
- Standing machine one-legged calf raises. You can use the same machine for single-leg standing calf raises. Remove some of the weight so you can perform at least ten repetitions with each leg. Get in the same position as the two-legged raise, but only work one leg at a time. Alternate legs to add a twist to the exercise.
- Standing dumbbell calf raises. If you have a set of dumbbells at home, you do not need to be at a gym to do this exercise. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms down by your sides, and simply stand on your toes and then lower yourself back down to work your calves. You can also use a 2×4 to stand on when you become proficient at the exercise.
- Seated dumbbell calf raises. To do this exercise, sit down on a chair or weight bench and place a dumbbell across your lower thighs just above the knee. Hold the dumbbells in place using an overhand grip. To work your calves, push up on the balls of your feet and then lower your feet back down to finish the repetition.