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How to Do Standing Calf Exercises

4 of 6 in Series: The Essentials of Day 3 of Your Ten-Minute Tone-Up

If you've resolved to get fit for the new year, work the Standing Calf exercise into your routine to strengthen and shape your calves. Speed up the results of your standing calf routine with these terrific tips:

  • Warm-up and stretch: Always begin your calf workout with an aerobic warm-up. It’s important to stretch after a calf session.

  • Breathe properly: Exhale during the point of exertion when doing a calf exercise. This point occurs during the most challenging part of the movement.

  • Work the entire lower body: Strong and defined calves are goals worth striving for. You can escalate the process by recognizing that they work in conjunction with the rest of your lower body. Including moves for the thighs, quads, hams, and buns creates a better equilibrium than just working the calves would, helps the calves function more efficiently, and prevents injury.

  • Avoid bouncing your calves: It is best to do calf exercises slowly. Bouncing up and down can create painful tightness in the calf muscles.

  • Adjust your toe angle: When doing a calf exercise adjust your toe angle to a point where it's comfortable. Avoid stretching the toes so far inward or outward that you place stress on the knee or ankles, causing injury.

Improve the tone and strength of your calves with the Standing Calf move:

  1. Stand tall with your feet planted on the floor. Hold the back of a chair for support.

    Keep the spine straight, abs in tight, and butt tucked under.
    Keep the spine straight, abs in tight, and butt tucked under.

    Imagine a string holding you up from your head to your feet.

  2. Slowly lift your heels off the floor so that your weight is on the balls of your feet. Maintain proper posture. Hold for a moment. Return to start.

    Build muscle with the Standing Calf.
    Build muscle with the Standing Calf.

    Do 5 to 10 repetitions, progressing up to 10 to 20 repetitions.

Use the following variations to tailor this exercise to your fitness level:

  • Use a raised platform: To increase the difficulty, perform this move on a raised platform or a raised step. At the start, your heels should be extended as low to the floor as is possible.

  • Wear ankle weights: For more of a challenge, wear ankle weights to increase the resistance.

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The Essentials of Day 3 of Your Ten-Minute Tone-Up

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