4 Simple Calf Exercises for Long, Lean Legs

Get sexy, sculpted calves with these targeted leg toners

Calf Exercise #1:The Calf Raise

calf raise

Vanessa Rogers Photography

This classic calf toner uses just your bodyweight to challenge your muscles.

To do it: Stand with feet hip width, knees soft, and hands on hips [photo A]. Rise up onto balls of feet as arms extend overhead [photo B]. Lower heels down with control as arms lower to return to start. To make it more challenging, hold a pair of dumbbells or a weighted plate Do 3 sets of 15 reps.

Calf Exercise #2: Jump Squat

jump squat

Vanessa Rogers Photography

This explosive, total body power move forces your calves to kick in and work hard to help lift your body off the ground and land safely.

To do it: Stand with feet hip width apart in a squat position with knees bent behind toes, hips back (as if about to sit in a chair) and arms bent by sides [photo A]. Quickly jump up, reaching arms overhead [photo B]. Land in starting position. Do 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

Calf Exercise #3: Step Up

step up

Vanessa Rogers Photography

Your calves work every time you change elevation, stepping from a low to high position or vice versa -- that’s why your calves get such a great workout during hikes -- so this simple move will sculpt your calves with every step.

To do it: Stand in front of the first step of staircase or a sturdy box of similar height. Step up on the step or box with right foot, then left. Step down with right foot, then left. Repeat as quickly as possible for 30-seconds and then repeat for 30-seconds with left foot leading.

Calf Exercise #4: Releve Coupe

releve coupe

Vanessa Rogers Photography

This ballet-inspired exercise (have you seen ballet dancers’ calves?) is sure to tighten and tone your calf muscles while also working your core and developing balance and coordination, too.

To do it: Bend right knee to side and flex foot, bringing right heel to the back of the bottom your left calf [photo A]. Press up onto the ball of your left foot as your right foot points [photo B]. Lower the left heel as the right foot flexes. If you need help with balance, stand behind a sturdy high-back chair or a countertop, with fingertips resting lightly on top while performing the exercise. Do 3 sets of 15 reps, alternating legs for each set.

Jessica Smith is a fitness expert and trainer, host of JESSICASMITHTV and the author of The Thin in 10 Weight-Loss Plan: Transform Your Body (and Life!) in Minutes a Day. Follow her on Google+

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