Once you get the hang of it, try other workout variations—just stay on your toes. Your Moves for Better Calves. For example, if the concentric phase takes three seconds, the eccentric phase should take six seconds. Execution-from this static position, jump up and onto the box. Don’t forget your calves. Then jump up and down focusing on quick, small hops. When the knee is straight, the gastroc is doing the heavy lifting. Aim for 3 to 4 sets to start. Stand on one leg, and bend your knee to the full squat (90 degrees) position. Remember those hikers. But don’t attempt any weighted calf raise -- especially donkey calf raises -- without first working with a certified fitness instructor to ensure that your form is correct. The gastroc attaches above the knee, and the soleus below the knee. Sit down with your legs straight out in front of you, one end of a looped resistance band around the balls of your feet, the other gripped in your hands, band taut. Concentric exercise is the shortening phase of a movement. The muscles serve as your lower body’s forearm, and especially when you’re rocking shorts or tapered pants, they’re hard to hide (or, if they're on the smaller side, harder to make more noticeable). The talocrural joint is your upper ankle joint, driving both the flexing and extension of your foot. Both joints don’t just need strength in the surrounding muscles, but mobility, too. A donkey calf raise is another variety that challenges the gastrocnemius muscles. When you look at your most popular leg moves (squats, lunges, deadlifts) it’s important to understand that they work from the ground up. They’re easy to neglect in the gym, especially on serious leg days, because squats and other leg lifts will likely leave you tapped out and eager to get off your feet. Easy rule: When the heel is above the toes, and your muscle is being flexed, that’s the gastroc. There are two heads to the muscle, the lateral head which sits on the outside of the lower leg and the medial head that sits on the inside of the leg. The soleus muscle lies deep beneath the gastrocnemius. Calf Muscle Exercises for Women to Build Strong, Sexy Calves Find out everything you need to know to exercise your calf muscles. Repeat on the other side. I’ll break it down for you right now. Our product picks are editor-tested, expert-approved. This content is imported from {embed-name}. There's no getting around it. Plyos are a great way to train the calves with respect to the ankle complex, … Plyos are a great way to train the calves with respect to the ankle complex, and you’ll do that here. Make sure when you squat you keep the middle of your knee cap in line with the middle toes of your foot. Full squat single leg. Explosive Calf Step-up. Tighten your core and glutes and keep your knees straight. But if you’re only training those muscle groups, you may not be working through a complete lower body workout. Think of doing 20-second dashes up the hill, then walking or jogging back down to start; repeat this 5 or 6 times. This is a calf exercise and gets a good stretch in the muscles. Lower your feet until your heels nearly hit the ground, then press back up, trying to point your toes. Concentric Box Jump Starting Position. Do 3 to 4 sets. The hamstring isn't an easy area to work, but several exercises help you target that area. Stand with the balls of your feet on a block a few inches off the ground, holding onto something for support, but keeping the majority of your weight in the balls of your feet. Conditioning is key to helping avoid these injuries. Aim to jump rope for 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off, for at least five minutes to start. But, unless you limit your choice of exercises to the Olympic lifts and throwing and jumping type exercises, most concentric muscle actions are accompanied by eccentric muscle contractions. Yes, a stair run is one of the best way to train your calves, forcing you to flex and extend your foot constantly and repeatedly. Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. Hill runs won’t just smoke your calves; they’ll crush your hamstrings, glutes, and quads, too. Using a slow, controlled movement for each phase is vital for ensuring that your calf raises are... Muscles. Calf raises, like most exercises, have both a concentric and eccentric phase. Men's Health participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.