Calf muscles are usually one of the toughest muscle groups to develop. The right set of exercises and stretches are required to build strong and toned muscles. Therefore there are many specific exercises, when done using right techniques, help to add size to your calves.
Calf Exercises – Standing and Seated Raises
In order to develop toned and beautiful looking calves, the first and foremost necessity is to apply appropriate calf exercises. Standing and seated calf exercises are considered to be the most effective in achieving this objective. Standing calf raises help to develop overall mass of your calves. Place your toes on a block of standing calf raise machine with heels extended outside. Your shoulders should be hooked under pads and legs straightened. In this position, lower your heels as far as possible with knees slightly bent to work the upper and lower portion of your calves. You can add weights for maximum workout. Calf raises in the seated version help to develop lower and outer calves. Sit on the machine and keep your toes on the bottom crosspiece while hooking knees under crossbar. Gradually lower heels and press back on toes until calves contract.
Calf Stretches – Stretching Gastrocnemius and Soleus
Stretching gastrocnemius and soleus (2 calf muscles) help to prevent muscle cramps since they are the most vulnerable to such aches. Since calf muscles are the most used, they need to be stretched to avoid injury or cramps. Calf stretches can be bifurcated into one involving each of the two calf muscles distinctly. Standing gastrocnemius stretches is done by standing with right food forward and the other backward. Bend right knee slightly to shift weight forward and keep left knee straight. Switch legs and repeat. The seated stretch in this case is done by sitting on the floor with legs stretched out. Lean forward to hold left toe. Repeat with other leg as well. The standing soleus stretch is done in a similar way but in this case both knees are slightly bent and both heels placed on the floor. Similarly, kneeling soleus stretches also help to work out your calf muscles. Calf stretches do not just help to add mass but are also responsible for the health of these muscles.
Calf Workouts – Tips for Beginners
Although calf muscles are quite tough to develop, doing calf workouts in the right way is beneficial in more ways than one. Incidentally, calf muscles recover much quicker and therefore, you can work them out as many times as possible. High repetition sets done with weight is a necessity to obtain more calf muscle growth. Also, stretching these muscles is important if you intend to add length to your calves. For every set of workouts, begin with complete repetitions where you should stretch hard at the bottom and contract hard at the top. Besides engaging in specific exercises, running and sprinting as part of your cardio routine also facilitate building of your calf muscles. These exercises are better done without shoes.