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6 Best Calf Exercises for Women to Increase Stamina

Strong calf muscles help in jumping, running and lifting (Image via Pexels/ Andrea Piacquadio)
Strong calf muscles help in jumping, running and lifting (Image via Pexels/ Andrea Piacquadio)

Calf exercises can help you build big, strong calf muscles. Your calves help keep your ankles stable and strong, letting your feet leave and land on the ground correctly when you walk or jump.

Lower body strength training (like squats and lunges) requires strong ankles and stability. So you can't avoid working your calf muscles if you want to be fit and active.

Stronger calf muscles mean you can jump higher, run faster and lift heavier, reducing your likelihood of getting injured.


Calf Exercises for Women to Increase Stamina

Check out these six calf exercises to help women increase their stamina:

1) Calf Raise

Standing calf raises are the standard, go-to and one of the easiest exercises you can do to target your calf muscles.

This exercise works out your gastrocnemius, the largest muscle in the calf. Beginners can start off with the bodyweight version of the exercise before progressing to doing it with weights.

Here's how you do this exercise:

  • Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
  • Engage your abs to keep you stable, and press through the balls of your feet to lift your heels high off the floor.
  • Don't lock your knees; keep them straight.
  • Stopping at the top, squeeze your calves, and bring your heels back down.
  • Perform one repetition.
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2) Jumping Jack

Jumping jacks are a full body plyometric exercise that work out your glutes, quads, hip flexors, and calves.

Here's how you do this exercise:

  • Stand with your feet touching and arms by your sides, gently bending your knee.
  • When you jump, your legs should spread out, and arms should go out and over your head.
  • As soon as you land with your arms and legs stretched out, jump back to where you started, and bring your arms down.
  • Keep going for 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Do three sets, and rest between each one.
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3) Lunge Pulse

Lunge pulses activate a variety of muscles in your lower body. They help improve your balance and core strength, and are a good workout for your calves as well.

Here's how you do this calf exercise:

  • Stand with your feet together and arms at your sides or on your hips.
  • Lunge forward by putting your right foot forward. Straighten the left leg while in the lunge position.
  • To complete one pulse, slightly bend the left leg.
  • Do 15 pulses; switch legs and do it again. Do three sets on each side, taking a break between each set.
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4) Mountain Climber

An excellent cardio exercise, mountain climbers target your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. They also help strengthen your calf muscles and increase your stamina.

Here's how you do this calf exercise:

  • Start in a high plank or push-up position.
  • Step your right foot forward between your hands as you bend your right knee.
  • Keep your hands in a push-up or high plank position, and jump off your feet to quickly switch the position of your right and left legs.
  • Straighten your right leg behind you to get into a high plank position.
  • Bend your left knee, and step your left foot forward between your hands while bending your left knee.
  • For a minute, repeat as quickly as you can. Do three sets, and rest between each one.
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5) High Knee

High knees work your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes, and hip flexors. This workout helps your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes, and hip flexors, making them stronger, more balanced, and coordinated. When done with a lot of jumping or explosive knee drives, high knees can also make your lower body stronger.

Here's how you do this calf exercise:

  • Start by standing on the mat with your arms bent at a 90-degree angle, elbows close to your sides, and hands in front of you at hip height.
  • Bend your right knee up, and tap your palm with your right knee.
  • Bring your right knee back to the floor, and quickly do the same thing on your left side.
  • Stay on the balls of your feet while you move. Perform one repetition.
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6) Squat with Raised Heel

The squat is, of course, an excellent lower body exercise that increases strength and power in your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves. The raised heel movement helps make this exercise more calf-centric.

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Here's how you do this calf exercise:

  • Start by standing with your feet wide apart and toes slightly turned out.
  • Engaging your core, bend your knees to move your hips back, and squat down, putting your arms between your legs.
  • Push through your heels to stand up, and circle your arms out to the sides and up overhead at the same time.
  • Once you're fully stretched out, push up on to your toes, and lift your heels high.
  • Go back to the starting position, and perform one repetition.

Takeaway

The aforementioned calf exercises can help you build big, strong calf muscles.

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Edited by Bhargav
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