Calf raises are the simplest of all exercises; they don’t even require any equipment or apparatus. These are performed by standing up on toes and then moving up and down on your toes. It is better to stand on an elevated surface to ensure full stretch and contraction in your calf muscles.
Want to look good and stay fit? Due to hectic routine affairs many people find it extremely difficult to slot in a productive workout into their schedule. The effort should be to increase the quality of the workout (you can also call it intensity). Here, in this article, we will enumerate, understand and choose the best exercises for your lower body. Many gym goers, especially women, often find it difficult to lose fat from their lower bodies. Some part of this puzzle lies in the anatomy of the female body and genetics which favor fat accumulation, especially in the hips and thighs, as compared to upper body. But this should not deter you from trying to achieve what you dream of… let’s get started now to see which exercises are the best ones for the lower body.
It has been rightly termed as the king of all exercises. No other exercise can be termed as productive as this one. It is very unfortunate that a squat rack is the most unused equipment of a gym and it is a pity to see many commercial gyms running without anything to squat. This exercise trains all of your lower body, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves or glutes. Although there are many ways to perform this exercise, the best and most productive one is the one where you place a loaded barbell across your shoulders and then squat down deep until your upper thighs are parallel or below parallel to the floor. Points to keep in mind during this exercise are not to arch your back and keep the upper body straight. The feet should be placed around the shoulder width, although you can hit the muscles in a different manner just by changing your feet position.
Lunges are also a very productive exercise for the lower body. They help develop shapely hips and tone up your entire lower body muscles. Like squats, lunges can also be performed in many ways. Arguably the best version is where you put a loaded barbell across your shoulders just like squats and then stepping your one foot forward bend at the knee while keeping your body straight. Then the other foot moves forward and so on. Walking barbell lunges offer many advantages over other versions. If stability with a barbell across your shoulders is an issue, then this exercise can also be performed by holding two dumbbells, one in each hand.
Leg curls are a great movement to tone up those wobbly hamstrings. Most gyms are equipped with leg curl machines. Often this machine is attached with a leg extension machine. To perform this exercise, lie face down on the leg curl bench, placing your legs under the pads so that the pads are on your ankles, just below your calves. Now lift the weight by curling up your hamstrings. This movement can also be done with the help of dumbbells if a leg curl machine is unavailable or for variety.
All these exercises are extremely productive if done in the right way. However, keep in mind not to overdo these fabulous exercises. Do around three to four sets of each exercise keeping the repetitions range for first three to be around 10-15. Calves can be a little stubborn part to train, so training them with a higher rep range is more beneficial. Do around 25-30 repetitions per set.
It should also be kept in mind that these exercises alone would not produce magical results. What is required is a sound nutritional program and above all, a dedicated mind.
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