Women who want sexy legs often forget the importance of calf exercises.
However, the calf muscles are on show more than any other part of the leg and as such we should train them to complete the sexy leg package.
What exactly are the calf muscles?
This image of the calf muscles from healthgate.partners.org shows the left leg’s calf muscle.
It is the muscle that is in charge of many actions and movements. For example, anytime you press down with your toes to walk or run you need the calf muscle. To develop it we need to add weight and exploit this natural movement.
The best calf exercises for sexy legs
As the calf muscles get lots of use in everyday activities like walking and jogging we need to push them a little bit harder when we work them out. This means that we need to build up to a heavy weight so that they grow in order to adapt to the new levels of work.
Here are the best exercises for the calf muscles:
1. The sqaut rack calf raise
If you have a gym membership then head down to the squat rack and get a calf box. This is a small but sturdy box that allows you to lower your heels off of the edge while doing the lifting with your toes and the balls of your feet.
Load up a medium weight in the squat rack and set it to shoulder height. Stand on the box so that your heels fall off the edge and place the bar bell over your shoulders. Using your toes and calf muscles push the weight up by standing on the tips of your toes. Hold this top position for the count of two and then lower it back down slowly.
Repeat this for 10 – 12 reps.
The regular squat works the calf muscles quite well, especially if you are doing it with some extra weight.
One of the other motions the calf muscle is involved with is keep the body balanced. When you are squatting with extra weight on your shoulders you will find that your calf muscles are quite sore the next day. You can intensify this with the jumping squat as you need the calfs to spring you into the air.
3. Skipping / Rope jumping
It seems that whenever I get my clients to do a lot of skipping for weight loss they also build some pretty sexy calf muscles.
If you skip for more than about 20 minutes chances are your calf muscles will get pretty sore. The exercise forces you to stay on your toes and whenever you use your toes you use your calfs.
This is especially true for those who are good/fit enough to do double jumps for an extended amount of time. They really burn the lower legs!
Sticking with the theme of using the toes; sprinting is one of the best ways to push your lower legs in an explosive way.
I sprinted semi-seriously for a few years and during that time I had better looking and more toned legs then I ever have had before or since. The art of sprinting is so intense it really forces your body to adapt. If you want to lose weight fast or tone any part of your body then you should get into sprinting.
5. Leg press machine
The leg press machine is mainly used for developing the quadricpes and other areas of the leg but if you make a subtle shift in the position of your feet you can really pump the calf muscles.
Sit in the seat and start with a low weight until you can figure out how much your calfs can handle. Place your toes on the near bottom of the pressing plate where your heels would normally be. Set the lock on the leg press a little bit higher and then proceed to use your toes to push the plate up and then slowly let it come back down .
Alternatively, you can set the lock lower and do full leg presses using only your toes to push the weight. This is an excellent way to challenge the legs.
The great thing about the leg press is the ability to safely press a lot of weight. There are locks set so you can’t drop it on yourself and the machine is designed in such a way that it is difficult to pull or strain any muscles. If you are a newbie to leg training then I recommend this one.
Does anyone else have any other ways of getting sexy calf muscles?