Warmer weather means it’s time to start wearing slightly less clothing. Which means, arms and legs are now being seen by the world, so we’ll want to feel as presentable as possible!
Sure, having toned arms and a hint of a tan are nice touches, but one often overlooked aspect of looking good in shorts is sporting a decent pair of calves. Guys – this goes for you too! Nicely developed calves can really change the appearance of a person’s legs, and the great news is, basic calf exercises require no equipment and can be done almost anywhere.
This is how I do basic calf raises:
Stand with heels touching and toes pointed outwards. In ballet, this is called “first position.”
Lift your heels off the ground while focusing on putting more weight on your big toes rather than your baby toes.
Then lower your heels all the way down so they touch the ground.
Without taking any time to rest, immediately lift your heels again. Repeat these raises several times until your calves get tired.
If needed, hold on to something sturdy to maintain your balance. But FYI – when you feel ready, it’s a wise idea to challenge yourself not to hold on, as building up stability will help prevent falls and potential injuries in your future!
Tip: When going hands-free, focus on standing tall and tightening your upper leg, glute and ab muscles to help keep you from falling over.
I like to do calf raises while brushing my teeth, while in elevators or while standing in line anywhere. If there are a lot of people around, I’ll just do them really slowly so that it’s doesn’t look as strange to others! Every calf raise counts towards awesome lower legs, so I aim to get them in frequently.
I also include calf raises in my weightlifting workouts once or twice a week. There are a handful of machines in the gym that allow you to do weighted calf raises, or you can hold a dumbbell and do one-legged calf raises (alternating legs, of course.) For these, however, I always lightly hold onto another machine or the weight rack.
Lastly, an excellent way to earn a shapely pair of calves is by taking cycling classes or by endeavoring on challenging bike rides on a fairly regular basis. (I can usually spot a diehard cyclist just by looking at their legs!)
Here’s to a summer showing off the most shorts-worthy legs possible!