Health & Fitness

The cure for skinny calf muscles

To create shapely calf muscles, work them hard 2 or 3 times a week.
To create shapely calf muscles, work them hard 2 or 3 times a week. iStockphoto.com

Q: I have skinny calf muscles. Help!

A: The calf muscle, which is responsible for movement of the ankle and bending the knee, is comprised of large muscles that run from the Achilles tendon to the femur. Having strong calf muscles will help you run faster and jump higher.

There are many exercises that can increase the size and improve the shape of the calf muscles. One of the most popular, effective and easiest to perform is the calf raise. You can choose to incorporate the standing calf raise into your workout by holding a moderate-weight dumbbell or barbell. Stand on a bench or step, ensuring the balls of your feet are resting on its edge and the heels are hanging off. Flex your calves until the ankles have been fully extended. Do this for 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each set.

Since the calves are used in most daily activities and they carry and move the weight of your entire body, making them bigger and fuller requires a lot of stimulation. Exercise your calves two or three times per week, and use as much weight as you’re comfortable with. Perform a full range of motion with every repetition. Increase weight progressively every week to shock your muscles and allow them to grow bigger. A little soreness after your workouts is normal and indicates your workouts are working.

Have a question? Email ealvarez@MiamiHerald.com or tweet @eddiemalvarez. To talk to the fitness trainers, email jandmfitness1@gmail.com.

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