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6 Effective Calf Muscle Workouts at Home

The best exercises for your calf muscles. Image via Unsplash/Yamon Figurs
The best exercises for your calf muscles. Image via Unsplash/Yamon Figurs

The calf muscles are a comparatively small muscle group in the legs, but they are important for everyday movement. Since they are small, though, they are rather hard to target.

Small calf muscles often get termed as “chicken legs”, especially if you’re someone who works out their legs on a regular basis and have some nice, toned thighs.

Luckily for us, there’s ways to work around that. And the best part is, you don’t even need any equipment - these calf muscle exercises can be done from the comfort of your own home.


6 best exercises for your calf muscles at home

The calf muscles are a support system for the rest of your leg. Your entire weight rests on them. Exercising them would mean more stability and balance for the entire body, and that’s never a bad thing.

1) Standing calf raises

This is perhaps the easiest exercise you will ever do for your calf muscles. You can choose to hold a dumbbell in either hand just to up the intensity, but it’s really not necessary.

• Ensure you have something to hold on to for support. Raise your heels so you are standing on your toes. Pause for a second when you have raised yourself to the highest you can.

• Lower your heels to the ground, back to the starting position.

• Continue this for 12 to 15 reps.

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2) Standing single leg calf raises

Just a tad trickier than regular standing calf raises, this variation allows you to work on each leg individually. This helps correct any imbalance in your legs.

• Stand straight with your feet hip-distance apart and raise one leg up. You can hold it out in front of you, or bend your leg back slightly so your foot hovers behind you.

• Raise your heels so your body is standing on your toes. Pause for a second when you have raised yourself to the highest you can.

• Lower your heels back down to the ground, back to the starting position.

• Continue this for 12 to 15 reps on each leg.

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3) Seated calf raises

You could sit on a chair or a bench for this variation. You will need a pair of dumbbells or any other weight you can hold over your knees.

• Seat yourself on the edge of the chair with your feet on the floor.

• Place a dumbbell on each of your thighs and hold them in place with your hands.

• Raise your heels so the weight is shifted onto your toes. Pause for a second when you have raised your knees to the highest you can.

• Lower your heels back down slowly to the ground, back to the starting position.

• Continue this for 12 to 15 reps.

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4) Squatting calf raises

This might take some getting used to, but it’s a calf muscle killer for sure! This is another bodyweight move that will tone your calves and help with stability.

• Get into a deep squat position with your feet hip-distance apart. You may do this in front of a wall so you can hold onto it.

• Maintaining the squat, raise your heels slowly so all your weight is shifted to your toes. Pause for a second when you have raised yourself to the highest you can.

• Lower your heels back down to the ground, back to the starting position.

• Continue this for 12 to 15 reps.

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5) Squats with heel raise

This is a 2-in-1 exercise that combines squats and calf raises! So not only will this work your entire leg, it will also allow you to generate more force when performing a calf raise, making it more intense and beneficial for your calf muscles. Jumping during this movement is optional.

• Stand straight with your feet hip-distance apart.

• Push your hips back and lower yourself into a deep squat, keeping your back straight by engaging your core.

• Thrust yourself back up to a standing position, and continue upward till you are standing on your toes.

• Lower yourself back down into a squat and continue the movement for 12 to 15 reps.

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6) Climbing stairs on toes

Yes, all you need is a staircase. This is a good way to simultaneously build on endurance as climbing stairs aren’t always the easiest to do. You may also perform this on the first step as a standing calf raise.

• Stand straight in front of the stairs.

• Place the top edge of your right foot on the first stair, and hoist yourself up.

• As you raise yourself, stand on your toes so the weight is shifted to your right toes.

• Bring your left leg forward and place the top of it on the next step, repeat the movement.

• Continue the movement for 12 to 15 reps on each leg.

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There we have it! Practice these exercises a few times a week, and watch your calf muscles grow. They’re so easy, you literally don’t have to go anywhere. No more chicken legs!

Poll : Do you work your calves regularly?

All the time!

Nope, not too often.

52 votes

Edited by Prem Deshpande
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