I’ve just got back from watching Shakira at the 02, It was a brilliant concert and as a result I felt inspired to write an article about how to tone and sculpt your lower legs, just like Shakira
How to sculpt your calves for toned, sexy lower legs like Shakira.
Many of my personal Training clients tell me they would like to feel more comfortable and look better in skirts and shorts. Essentially they want their calves and lower legs to look more toned and athletic.
After all they are the part of the leg that are on show the most and knowing you’ve put the time and effort in to sculpt them can make you feel a lot more comfortable when you know your legs are going to be on show.
The calf muscles are used to being worked; they’re worked every time you walk anywhere. This means that to get good results from your calf training you really need to push them hard. Because the Calves are so used to working they recover quite quickly and will need to be worked relatively frequently.
Let’s take a look at some of the most effective calf exercises:
Standing Calf Raises – Calf raises can be performed standing on the ground, on a box or on a step. This is a very simple exercise to perform, all you need to do is be in a neutral position and push up on your toes, when you have reached the extent of your range of movement contract your muscles like you would on a bicep curl, hold for half a second, lower yourself down slowly and repeat.
When you first begin to exercise your calves specifically; you may feel a large amount of aching in the following 48 hours, don’t worry, this is normal. Your calves will be aching because they aren’t used to this kind of movement and need time to adapt and recover, this will subside within a day or two.
Once you are used to performing this exercise with your own bodyweight, begin adding resistance by holding dumbbells in your hands.
Another way to intensify the workout would be to perform this exercise one leg at a time. Hook the leg you are not training over the other and perform your exercises.
Calf Press – This exercise is another way to target your Calf muscles, although this exercise requires a leg press machine. This is a good alternative to standing calf raises is you suffer from or have suffered from a lower back injury.
This exercise is performed by sitting in the machine with your feet around 5 inches apart. Position yourself so that only the upper edges of your feet are resting on the platform. From there straighten your legs out whilst keeping your knees slightly bent to avoid undue pressure on your knees. Rise on to your tip toes and contract your calves for one second. Then slowly lower yourself into a deep stretch and repeat.
For both a standing calf raise and a calf press you should perform 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
Jumping – Jumping is another great way to tone and shape your calf muscles, this is because whenever you are jumping you are working on your toes, and whenever you are on your toes your claves are engaged. Great options for jumping exercises are skipping, box jumps or even continuous jumping on a mini trampoline.
Be sure to warm up before your workouts and stretch out after each session.