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5 Moves for Sexier Legs

NEW 5 moves for sexier legs

We all generally spend a disproportionate amount of time in the gym targeting our bums, thighs and quads in an effort to get slim and slender legs.

However, the major muscles of the lower legs, our calf muscles, are the ones that tend to get the most exposure, especially during summer when we wear skirts, shorts or three quarter pants

Why is it then that they are often the most neglected lower body muscle group? We all generally spend a disproportionate amount of time in the gym targeting our bums, thighs and quads in an effort to get slim and slender legs. However, the major muscles of the lower legs, our calf muscles, are the ones that tend to get the most exposure, especially during summer when we wear skirts, shorts or three quarter pants. Why is it then that they are often the most neglected lower body muscle group?

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The calf is defined as the three-headed (triceps surae) muscle found on the posterior aspect of the lower leg. There are two major muscles that comprise the calf, namely the two headed gastrocnemius muscle and the soleus muscle. These muscles both insert into the calcaneus or heel bone via the Achilles tendon. The two heads of the gastrocnemius attach to the base of the femur directly above the knee, while the soleus attaches to the superior posterior area of the tibia.

Due to the specific functions that each muscle is responsible for, the gastrocnemius is targeted better when it is engaged in a standing position, while the soleus is better isolated when you perform an exercise where your knees are bent.

Note: The gastrocnemius muscle is the most prominent muscle in the lower leg region and it is also the muscle that creates the “curved” shape to the calf.

1. Calf raise on leg press machine


Secondary: Soleus (synergist) Drop into the sled and position your back firmly on the padded support. Extend your hips and knees to place your feet on the platform. Grasp the handles on either side of the sled before placing your toes and the balls of your feet on the lower portion of the platform, with your heels and arches extending off it. Push the platform by extending your ankles as far as possible. Return to the starting position by bending your ankles until you feel a stretch in your calves. Repeat for the required reps.

Note: Keep your knees straight throughout the exercise or bend them slightly only during the stretch phase.

2. Seated calf raises


Secondary: Gastrocnemius (synergist) Sit on the seat and position your knees under the padded lever arm by placing the balls of your feet on the platform, with your heels extending off. Grasp the handles if they are available or place your hands on the lever pads. Lift the lever up by pushing the heels up to release the support lever. Lower your heels by bending your ankles until you feel a stretch in the calves. Hold for a count before raising the heels up by extending your ankles as high as possible. Repeat for the required number of reps.

3. Standing calf raise


Secondary: Soleus (synergist) Position your shoulders under the padded lever, with your toes and the balls of your feet on the block and your arches and heels extending off it. Grasp the handles or the sides of the padded lever for support. Raise your heels by extending your ankles as high as possible. Hold for a count before lowering your heels back down by bending your ankles until you feel a stretch in your calves. Repeat for the required number of reps.

4. Angled one-legged body-weight calf raise


Secondary: Soleus (synergist) Stand facing a bar positioned at mid-thigh to hip level. Grasp the bar with a wide overhand grip. Step back so that your body is angled forward with a straight back and your arms extended approximately perpendicular to your body. Your feet should be pointing forward. Lift one leg to the rear by bending at the knee. Raise your heel by extending your ankle as high as possible. Allow your body to travel forward and upward in the same direction that your body is orientated. Hold for a count before lowering your heel and placing your foot back down on the floor. Repeat for the required reps before continuing with the opposite leg.

5. Bridge with calf raise


Secondary: Gastrocnemius (synergist) Lie face up with your feet, head and shoulders on the floor and your hands by your sides. Contract the abs and glutes to raise the hips until your neck, hips and knees are in line. Your knees should line up over your ankles. Slowly lift your heels off the floor. Hold for a count before returning to the starting position. Repeat for the required number of reps.

Author: Tanja Schmitz

Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.

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