Thank Your Calves For All They Do With This Bodyweight Leg Workout
If you aren't showing your calves some love come leg day, you may want to think twice — these muscles bring more to the table than you probably realize.
"The calf works seamlessly in conjunction with the entire body to walk, run, and jump," Michelle Pualani Houston, a NASM-certified personal trainer, says — and that includes the ankle joints that mobilize the foot and toes and the knee to flex or bend.
Did you know that the calves are actually made of two muscles: the gastrocnemius and the soleus? Houston explains that each muscle functions differently while working cohesively, which is why stretching and strengthening are equally important during a workout.
"To prevent calf injuries, it's best to take a multidimensional approach to your training or exercise protocol," Houston says.
"Incorporate varied types of movement in different environments to avoid overtraining and to prepare the body for more dynamic ranges of movement that sometimes catch you off guard."
Another important takeaway from Houston is that calves are only as effective and strong as their supporting muscle groups. That's why her calf workout incorporates the quads, hamstrings, and glutes to boost stability, strength, and mobility.
Houston suggests resting for 10-15 seconds between sets, but feel free to take more breaks when needed.