When it comes to improving your lower body strength, calf exercises also play a crucial role. Strong calves can contribute to ankle stability, reduce the risk of injuries during high-intensity exercises, and also improve performance, especially for sportspeople and athletes. What's also advantageous about calf exercises is that they are extremely easy and convenient to do and do not require a gym membership. So if you're up for it, here are some calf exercises you can do at home.
Here's how you can perform easy calf raises:
Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and engage your core.
Step 2: Slowly lift your heels off the ground while contracting your calf muscles.
Step 3: As you reach the top of the movement, hold for a moment.
Step 4: Then slowly lower your heels back to the starting position.
Step 5: Do at least 10–15 repetitions.
Here's how you can do toe taps:
Step 1: Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Step 2: Lift one foot off the ground, keeping the knee slightly bent.
Step 3: Lightly tap the toes of the lifted foot on the ground in front of you, with your other foot planted firmly on the ground.
Step 4: After tapping with one foot, return it to the starting position and lift the other foot to tap its toes.
Step 5: Keep alternating between the legs and do 10–15 repetitions of the movement.
Here’s how you can do a calf stretch:
Step 1: Stand by a wall and place your hands on it for support.
Step 2: Take a step back with one foot and bend the front knee slightly until you feel a gentle stretch in the calf of the extended leg.
Step 3: Hold the stretch for 15–30 seconds.
Step 4: Return to the starting position, alternate between legs, and repeat the stretch on the other calf.
Single-Leg Calf Raises
Here's how you can do a single-leg calf raise:
Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, with your shoulders back and your core engaged.
Step 2: Lift one foot off the ground, keeping your knee slightly bent for balance.
Step 3: Push down the front of your foot to raise your heel as high as possible, contracting your calf muscles.
Step 4: Hold the position for a moment and feel the stretch on the calf muscle.
Step 5: Slowly lower your heel back down to the starting position and repeat the movement for as long as you want before switching to the other.
Here’s how you can do box jumps:
Step 1: Start by standing in front of a sturdy box, with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.
Step 2: Explosively jump onto the box, swinging your arms forward to support the motion. Land softly on the box and ensure that your entire foot is on the surface.
Step 3: Stand tall with your knees slightly bent on top of the box.
Step 4: Slowly and carefully step back down from the box, one foot at a time, or jump down if you're more pro at it.
Step 5: Do 5–10 reps and ensure that you take it slow to minimise the impact on your joints and reduce the risk of injury.