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In body building, your thigh muscles support your body's core when lifting. Your lower leg muscles stabilize your body through each movement. They also bear your total body weight, along with the weight you are lifting. You must have strong calf muscles in order to twist, raise yourself onto your toes and lower yourself onto your heels. In this article, we will share five top exercises to help you build calf mass for safe, effective body building.
1. Standing Calf Raises
You can do this exercise using a calf block.
To perform this exercise, place your feet securely on a calf block. Lower your heels by two-to-four inches. This will give your calves a good stretch. Raise yourself in a slow and controlled manner as high as you can, contracting your calf muscles as you lift. Hold for a count of 5, lower and repeat. Begin with two sets of twelve repetitions. Increase gradually as your strength and ability increase.
2. Seated Calf Raise
This exercise is like the standing calf raise, but it is performed while seated to target the lower calf muscles.
Sit with the balls of your feet on the calf block. Place a chosen amount of weight on your thighs. Lower your heels by two-to-four inches and then raise them gradually, contracting your calf muscles as you raise. Hold for a count of five and lower again in a controlled manner. Begin with two sets of fifteen repetitions. Increase as you grow stronger.
3. Calf Raises (aka: Donkey Raise)
Seat yourself on a leg press machine, holding the sled with the balls of your feet and your toes. Keep your knees and hips still. Focus on moving only your ankles. Point and flex your feet in a slow and controlled manner for two sets of ten repetitions. Increase reps as you grow stronger.
4. Box Jumps
You can do this exercise using a step or a stable, sturdy box. Stand in front of the step or box and raise yourself onto the balls of your feet. Spring onto the box and back down again eight-to-ten times. Don't try to add resistance with hand weights. Keep your hands free for balance and safety.
5. Dumbbell Jump Squat
Assume a squat position and raise yourself onto the balls of your feet. Spring forward and land on the balls of your feet. Slowly lower yourself to a flat-footed, squat position and repeat the exercise. Perform two sets of ten repetitions, increasing as you become stronger. You can use hand weights to increase the effectiveness of this exercise. Hold them securely in front of your lower abdomen to lower your center of gravity. Don't use a barbell as this will throw you off balance.
How To Fit This Workout Into Your Routine
Even if you are already in good shape, begin slowly and increase reps and resistance gradually to avoid injury.
For the very best results, just add this short workout to any leg workout you are already doing. If you currently have a very lengthy leg workout program, you may want to break it up and do some exercises one day and others the next. This will give your muscles more chance to recover between workouts, and the variety will keep them challenged.
Be sure to get ample nutrition when focusing on building muscle mass. Take your vitamins and your protein supplements and remember to get plenty of rest to allow your muscles full recovery. These smart habits will help you prevent delays in your training caused by careless injuries.
Robert Grobe is the president of Healthy Living Products and has been helping people across the globe to enjoy improved health and a higher quality of life for more than 40 years. His blog at HealthyLivingProducts.com is filled with information about healthy living and its advantages.