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Nothing complements a dress and heels like a pair of toned calves! Not only will doing the right endurance strength exercises give you shapely calves, but your whole physique will change too.

Strong calves create a stronger foundation for the rest of your body. Plus, you’ll be able to exert more power during workouts. Calves include your gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. Your gastrocnemius is the larger of the two and fans over the top of the soleus to make that heart-shaped “V” in the back of your legs. Both work to pull up and lift your heels as you move.  

5 Calf Exercises for Women

Calf Raises

The nice thing about calf raises is that you can do them at the gym or even while brushing your teeth in the morning. Separate your feet hip-width apart with toes pointed forward. Fan out all ten of your toes. Press through the balls of your feet and lift your heels.

Dancer Calf Raises

Bring your heels together with your toes out at a 45° angle, or dancer’s 1st position. Keeping the heels drawn together, lift the heels by pushing through the ball-mounts of your feet. Squeeze your calves and inner thighs as you raise the heels.

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calf exercises

Jump Rope

You might be surprised at the many benefits of jumping rope. On top of burning around 100 calories every 10 minutes, jumping rope works your calves, shins, quadriceps, hamstrings and hips. Switch up your jumping style (for example, try alternating feet or hopping one foot at a time) to work different angles of your calves.

Leg Press

The standard leg press machine works on muscular strength for your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes and hip flexors. Combine one standard leg press repetition with one calf raise for maximum calf strength and tone. Move slow and controlled.

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Box Jumps

Box jumps are an excellent test of your cardiovascular and muscular endurance. Stand behind a plyo box and bend your knees. Jump onto the box and land softly by engaging your core and bending your knees. Step down. Box jumps blast your leg muscles and are one of the best calf exercises for women.

Exercises like the leg press with a heel raise and jumping rope are some of the best calf exercises for women. Strengthen your calves and your whole body will get stronger, faster and leaner. Plus, you’ll have an extra excuse to go shoe shopping!