Every single part of our body is very important. You do so much to take care of your weight when you put on even a little or loose even a little so why not strengthen something that’s value we are going to realize at a very later stage?
The calves are the most important muscles in our body. Strengthening our calves will help us walk, run, turn, stoop and much more. Having weak calves will lead to problems such as gait problem, septicemia, achellies tendon injury. All these problems occur when we don’t take care of our legs and they begin to give up on us and give in to problems. In order to prevent these problems, we have come up with 7 solutions to strengthen your calves which are very easy and quickly to learn without much expenditure.
Double or single leg calf raise
While performing calf strengthening exercises, one must wear loose clothes and sport shoes in order to maintain balance and have a good grip. To perform double calf raise, any item such as a thick book available at home or a platform that can be bought in a sports store for a cheap price can be used. Stand near the wall and place the high raised platform next to the wall. Use the wall as a support and place the front half of your feet on the platform and make sure that your ankles, knees and hips are in a straight line to protect your joints.
Press down on both your heels of your feet that will be hanging outside the platform and pull in your abdominal muscles inside and use the weight of your body to tone your calves, first lower your heels towards the floor and then raise them high up away from the floor. The same can be done on the staircase with one calf each.
Continue doing this till your upper calves start to pain and then relax your feet and flatten them on the floor.
Isometric calf raise
Bend your knees slightly and stand with feet a foot width apart. Turn your feet to face outwardly. Lift the heels of your feet as high as you can and once you’ve reached the highest point hold it for a minute and then get your lower feet to move down towards the floor. No platform maybe needed for this and can be simply done on the floor.
Calf exercise with band
In this exercise, a resistant tubing or thera-aband is used to create tension in your calves during exercise. Sit on the edge of a chair placing your feet on the ground and then lift the right foot and place in on the other end of your band under the foot. Hold on to the other side of the band and pull it towards your side and push your foot in the opposite direction with the help of pointing your toes ahead for 3 seconds, straightening the leg completely in between and then release relaxing your leg. Do this fifteen times with the right leg and then change to the left leg. Pulling the band towards your direction further more increases the intensity of the exercise.
The exercise is similar to the single left calf raise. This should be done with 5lb weights held in hands to increase the intensity and tone the calves. Stand with your feet apart and bend your knees a little throughout the exercise. Lift your left leg while you hold your weights and shift your weight to the right foot slowly. Push up through your right heel and stop when your’re on the heel of your foot. Hold for three seconds and then lower it to the ground. Stop before your feet touches the ground and repeat again till 15 times.
Running, walking and hiking are natural ways to strengthen your calves. They help further more and last longer due to the natural process of strengthening calves.
Running sports such as basketball, football, tennis, etc., involve jumping, running and provide a greater push to your calf muscles.
All kinds of dancing too strengthen the legs along with swimming which is a vigorous activity when done with dedication.
These are a few ways to start out strengthening your calves and best for beginners.
Seated calf exercise with rod
In this exercise, one much seat himself on a chair. Any type of long elongated rod is fine and must be placed a few inches above the knees. Then slowly one must forward his foot on the toes and come back to the ground. Pushing the rod down on the knee helps in creating pressure and tension increasing the difficulty of the exercise. Both feet should be raised on the foot and put down. Raised from the foot held for 3 seconds and placed back down. This must be repeated 15 times to be effective.
Wall bend knee exercise
Keep both the hands on the wall with arms extended and then lean on the wall for support. Keep one foot ahead and the other back and bend knees just a little. Then lower one knee just before the heels raise and hold and stretch for 20 seconds and then repeat with the other leg.
Advantages of this exercise will be good strong calves which will help in avoiding leg pain and joint pains and prevention of serious calf problems. Strengthening calves also last in keeping legs strong at old age.
Doing these exercises is good for health and very easy to perform but a few important things must be kept in mind after performing the exercise.
Each of the given exercises will bring pain to the lower half of the leg, heels and calves but will subside with regular practice within four to five days. The effect of these exercises will begin to show after a week of everyday practice and a period of three to four days will be needed to subside the bearable pain in the calves. Patients suffering from ALS, patients with pervious lower leg problems which are serious cannot perform these exercises; overweight people cannot do these exercises either since a lot of pressure decreases the legs strength. One must consult his/her doctor before performing any of these exercises just to make sure he/she is fit for these instructions. If any nausea or head ache or weakness occurs, one must immediately stop this exercise. A warm up is a must before beginning any exercise so as to have flexible muscles before starting something vigorous.