Legs day is the most exhausting workout day for anyone and that is why it is kept at the end of the training week.
Legs need to be build equally to the upper body to maintain a healthy structure as well as good body shape overall.
They may seem simple to look at but are pretty complicated and tough too. The leg exercises are divided into two parts:
Thighs or the upper leg structure and calves or lower leg region. Just like there has to be a proper ration in the upper and the lower body building, there has to be equal focus on both the upper and lower leg structures.
The main part of the lower leg is the calve muscles. They can be built by simple and complex workout routines. But, a necessary focus has to be maintained regularly on them.
Best Exercises For Calve Muscles
Calve muscles can be improved through a variety of exercises but one of the most common exercise is the calf raise.
It has different alternatives and modifications which can be done both independently or using equipments.
Seated calf raise involves a machine workout as shown in the image below. All the complications of the positioning and focusing points are taken care of in the built and structure of the machine itself.
The seated position requires an erect back stance while holding the levers for a good grip to avoid any imbalance or slip over heavy weights.
Raise your toes to the extent of the stretch your toes allow and then bring them to the lower stretch before going to the initial position.
This exercise brings a stress on the calve muscles keeping the rest of the body at rest thus letting the energy focus especially on the calve muscles.
The machine used specially for seated calf raise takes up much space in the gym and is expensive too.
Thus, there are other alternatives to this exercise which are better and cheaper too.
Better Alternate Exercises To Seated Calf Raise
A cardio session helps the body to stimulate power throughout the entire body and warms it up but the running session helps a lot in improving the calve muscles.
As you can see that calve muscles are best shaped and stronger in athletes and football players due to extensive use of the legs for running.
Run with your toes pointed to put more stress on the calves rather than thighs and ankles.
Dumbbell Seated Calf Raise
This is the simplest form of calf raise which shows the same result as the seated calf raise machine workout. Sit erect on any seat or stool.
Place your feet such that your toes are free to move in both up and downward direction.Put one or two dumbbells on your knee ends and then raise your toes.
Dumbbells are cheaper and do not take much space, but they can slip out of the knees and may also make the knees bend on either sides while working out, so more concentration is required in this case.
Barbell Seated Calf Raise
The Barbell seated Calf raise has a great advantage over dumbbell and automated seated calf raise machines.
The barbell is more balanced on either side. Weight variations can be divided equally on both thighs and knees to decrease the strain on them.
The knees do not bend when toes are raised. The procedure is same as the dumbbell seated calf raise exercise. This is the best alternative exercise of seated calf raise exercise.
The step up exercise can be done anywhere you find a good heighted staircase or bench in a park.
Step ups put individual strain on the calf muscles as well as hips and keep them both in proportion and equal strength.
This gives a drastic advantage over any other equipment exercises as free positioning is allowed.
Use of machines has increased with the involvement of advanced technology in the body building industry.
People are opting for multipurpose automated machines rather than dumbbells and barbells which were already a modern substitute of weight lifting scenario.
Free exercises like running and step ups can give better outcomes with increasing number of reps and regularity.
These are cheaper and take much less time in setup than the machines and equipment related exercises.