Many of you ladies truly understand that
the secret to sexy legs lies in attaining some curvy calves. Without them, your legs look more like lifeless pegs, stems that drop straight from your knees to your heels without an inch of variation.
So, in order to lure your stubborn calves out of the past and into your future, try the following calf-blasting routines:
STANDING CALF RAISES: Place your feet on the platform, making sure that the balls are able to roll on the edge. Be sure not to put too much or too little of your foot on the platform. Slowly raising your heels, rotate the balls of your feet along the platform. At the point of contraction, you should be on the tips of your toes. Hold and squeeze your calves for two seconds, feeling the burn, then allow your heels to drop down to the starting position, just slightly below the edge of the platform. Repeat the motion. Try three sets of 15-20 reps at a manageable weight.
SEATED CALF RAISES: This exercise is identical in range of motion to the standing version, with the main difference being that your knees are bent in this exercise. This is to emphasize the soleus muscle as opposed to the gastroc muscle, as is stressed in the standing calf raises. Slowly rotate the balls of your feet on the platform as you lift your heels as high as you can. Squeeze the calves for a two-count during the contraction and then slowly lower you heels to the starting position. Repeat the movement for 15-20 repetitions through three sets.
LEG PRESS CALF RAISES: Placing your feet on the platform, lock your knees in a way that only the balls and the toes are on the platform. Your heels should be slightly beneath the platform. Also, make sure your feet are parallel to one another and not forming a ‘V’ on the platform. If you need to, place your toes just slightly outward. However, keep your feet just a few of inches apart. Then, rotate the balls of your feet, lifting the weight with your toes until your calves are completely contracted. Squeeze your calves for a moment and then slowly lower your heels to the level of the platform before repeating the movement. Do three sets of 12-15 repetitions.
The key to building great calves is to perfect the range of motion in your exercises. Poundage should certainly be low on your priority list. While doing these routines, focus strictly on proper form as you visualize the calves – and only the calves – tearing to shreds.