Calf consists of two main muscles – gastrocnemius, which gives calf a rounded shape, and soleus, which is smaller, elongated and is located below the gastrocnemius.
Your own body weight is all you need in order to strengthen and shape your calves, but you can also use weights or gym equipment if you prefer that type of workout. When it’s under a heavy load, the muscle gets bigger, and also, the loss of muscle mass and strength due to aging is being delayed.
There are also some sports that help in strengthening and shaping the calf muscles such as walking, running, hiking, cycling, playing football, basketball, etc.
The steeper the rise is, the more pressure will be on your calves, which means faster muscle growth. Football, basketball and tennis, are also great for the calves, because they require jumping, running, and making additional pressure on them when accelerating, or when suddenly changing the direction. Dancing and swimming are great too. Swimming activates all of the muscles in the legs, even the calves, and causes less pressure on joints than when jumping and running. Swimming is the safest way to strengthen your calves.
Jumping ropes gives excellent results too. Jump rope for a minute or two when warming up before running, cycling or swimming.
Calves workouts can be done at home, and they are suitable for people of all ages. Most of them come down to standing on your toes, but before you do them, it is necessary to walk or run for at least ten minutes, to warm up the muscles. Do the following exercises two to three times a week.
These exercises are especially recommended to women who want to have sexy legs, because without the well-shaped calves, your legs will not be as sexy.
• While in a standing position, get up on your toes with your legs close together.
• Slowly lower yourself down, as if you are sitting in a chair.
• Make sure your back is straight all the time.
• Quickly lower your heels to the floor and lift them up again, 30 times.
• Do three sets.
• In order to maintain the balance, stand against a wall with your feet hip-wide, and with your legs straight.
• Get up on your toes, and raise your heels as high as you can.
• Just like in the previous exercise, the back must be completely straight.
In order to achieve better results, you can do this exercise while holding dumbbells or water bottles in your hands.
Harder, but more efficient version of this exercise is when it is performed on one leg. Do it exactly as the exercise 2, but instead of standing on both of your legs, bend one knee and do the exercise.
• Get on a step or a thick book and get up on your toes.
• Slowly lower you heels, so that they are a little over the edge of the book or step, and then get back to the starting position.
• Repeat the exercise 10-12 times with each foot, in 3 sets.
• Keep your body straight all the time.
If you need to keep your balance, hold onto the nearest wall with your hand.