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Smart Steps for Stronger Calves

By Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Feb. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Have you been neglecting your calves? Many people forget about these important muscles when doing strength training. These exercises will add definition and help protect against some lower leg injuries.

Start with seated calf raises. Sit on a chair or bench with feet flat on the floor. Lift your right heel as high as you can, pressing toes into the floor and flexing your calf muscles, then slowly lower your heel. Do this 12 to 15 times, then repeat with your left heel. Build to two sets of 15 reps with each leg.

To increase your range of motion, place a block in front of your feet and position the ball of your foot on the block for the calf raises. To add resistance, place a weight cuff around the working thigh, about 3 inches from the knee.

Now move to standing calf raises. Stand behind a sturdy chair, holding it for balance if necessary. With feet shoulder width apart, slowly rise up on your toes as you tighten your abs. Keep your back and knees straight. Hold briefly, then slowly lower heels to the floor. Build up to two sets of 12 to 15 reps.

To increase the challenge, hold dumbbells at your sides, palms facing inward as you do the exercise.

For another variation, lift your left foot off the floor while doing raises with your right foot, then reverse. Or do your standing raises on a stair to increase intensity and range of motion. Place toes on the edge of a step, heels hanging off. Slowly raise to tiptoes, hold briefly, then lower all the way back down. Be sure to hold the bannister for balance or place your hands on the sides of the stairwell.

More information

Check out the American Council on Exercise's online library of lower leg exercises.

Copyright © 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=742288

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Muscles
Range of Motion, Articular
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The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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