*To get the most shape and tone for your buck, use a combination of lower leg exercises. Hitting the muscles from different angles works a variety of muscle fibers and gives you a complete approach.
*Try the follow calf-shaping moves two to three times a week for firmer calves in approximately four weeks.
~STANDING CALF RAISE
-Start position: Stand facing a wall and step approximately two feet away. Place your hands against the wall in a push-up position, leaning your body in toward the wall in a straight line and keeping heels on the ground (barefoot or wearing sneakers). You should feel a stretch throughout your calves.
-Movement: Raise up onto the balls of your feet; remain leaning toward the wall. Pause and slowly lower back down.
-Repeat 15 times.
~CALF RAISES ON A STEP
-Start position: Stand on the balls of your feet on the bottom step of a staircase, holding onto a wall or railing for balance.
-Movement: Slowly lower your heels toward the floor, feeling the muscles stretch, and then slowly raise up onto the balls of your feet. Pause and lower back down.
-Repeat 15 times.
*For a greater challenge, bring one foot behind the opposite ankle and use the same form for one-legged calf raises.
~SEATED CALF RAISES
-Start position: Sit in a chair with your legs bent at a 90-degree angle, feet flat on the floor. Place a dumbbell in each hand (10 pounds or heavier; remember, your calves are strong enough to move your entire body's weight around all day) and hold one on top of each knee.
-Movement: Slowly squeeze your calf muscles as you raise up onto the balls of your feet (avoid bouncing up and down). Pause and slowly lower back down, without resting.
-Repeat 15 or more times.
-Jump rope: Jumping rope requires standing on your toes, giving calf muscles a good workout. Plus, jumping for 30 minutes burns approximately 350 calories.
-Walk up stairs: To emphasize calf muscles, focus on squeezing them as you walk up every stair. Carry a dumbbell to increase the resistance.
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