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Strong Women ambassador and fitness trainer Alice-Rose Miller demonstrates how to build stronger calf muscles in this quick and effective full body workout. 

Building joint strength should be on everyone’s to-do list, but especially if you’re a regular runner or squatter – it helps to enhance performance while preventing injury and soreness. If you regularly experience the latter with your knees and ankles, it’s time to pay attention to your calves. “Your calves work to stabilise the knees, plus increase mobility and strength in both your feet and ankles,” explains trainer Alice Miller from our Strong Women collective.

Add these three effective calf exercises to your leg day workout and reap the benefits. It’s yet another reminder to never underestimate the little guys.  

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SINGLE LEG CALF RAISE

  1. Stand on your right leg, with your left leg bent and lifted off the floor. 
  2. Push up onto your tip toes on your right foot – squeezing through the calf. 
  3. Lower the right leg back down to the floor slowly. Avoid bouncing into the move, instead moving slowly throughout the exercise. 

To make the move more challenging, stand on the edge of a stair or step, so that you can lower your heel further below the toes (that are at ground level). You should feel an extra stretch throughout your calf muscle. 

Do 10 reps each side

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HEELS ELEVATED SQUAT

  1. Stand on top of two weighted plates or a plank of wood (you can also use thick books). 
  2. Feet should be shoulder-width apart, with the toes pointed slightly outwards.  
  3. Slowly lower the body down into a squat, while driving through the balls of the feet and keeping the chest up. 
  4. Again, drive through the balls of the feet to raise your body back to the starting position. 
  5. Squeeze the calf and glute muscles at the top of the movement. 

To make this move more challenging, place a dumbbell or kettlebell on top of your thighs (closer to the knee).     

Do 10 reps

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SINGLE LEG HOP

  1. Stand on your right leg with your resting leg (left leg) behind you. 
  2. Now, here is where you will want to bounce. You’ll be bouncing up and down on the ball of your right foot. To do so, flex the right foot as you jump the right leg forward, lightly bouncing up and down on the ball of the foot. 

Do 10 reps each side 

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