Your calf muscles are located on the backs of your lower legs and are required for many daily functions such as walking, climbing and even driving. In order to continue performing these daily activities in a safe manner, it is important to maintain the muscle mass in your calves. For best results, be sure to engage in exercises that are specifically designed to target this area. Here are four ways to tone your calf muscles:
1. Do Calf Raises
One of the best and easiest ways that you can tone your calves is by performing calf raises. To do calf raises, start by standing tall with your feet planted firmly on the ground below you, with your feet spread slightly apart. Your hands can either rest on your hips or be relaxed at your sides. Take a few deep breaths, and as you exhale, slowly come up on your toes. Now exhale deeply and carefully lower your heels back to the ground. Continue doing this until your calves begin to burn. If you need a harder workout, lift your right foot off the ground, and hook the toe around the heel of the left foot. Perform the calf raise as described above, but use only one foot to raise your body.
2. Walk up Hills
If strength training exercises such as calf raises aren't for you, consider walking up a hill. Walking up a hill is not only a great way to tone your calf muscles, but can also provide some cardiovascular training as well. For best results, find the steepest hill that you can locate, and climb it. Once you reach the top, turn around, and repeat the process until your calves are burning. You can also do this by walking on a treadmill where the incline has been set to a very steep grade.
3. Participate in a Step Aerobics Class
Another great, easy way to tone your calf muscles is by participating in a step aerobics class. Like walking up a hill, step aerobics will not only allow you to tone your calves, but will also target your cardiovascular system. For best results when participating in a step aerobics class, be sure to start out slowly, and gradually increase the intensity of your workout. This can be done by varying the number of risers under your step. Beginners should use only one or two risers, while more advanced "steppers" can use as many as three or four. In addition, remember that you can get a similar workout while walking up and down flights of stairs at your home or workplace or by exercising on a stair stepping machine.
4. Eat Right
Finally, be sure to eat right in order to have great success when it comes to toning your calves. Eating enough protein is especially essential to repair and build muscle in your calves.