The calf muscle of your lower legs often gets forgotten in many leg routines. A lot of folks are happy with the way their calves look without any exercise. Sometimes the calves get enough exercise from other walking, running and jumping that you do. However, if you have underdeveloped calves or want more power and size, you need to train them specifically.

Calf raises are the primary calf exercise. They can be done almost anywhere and you use your own body weight as resistance. All you need is a stair step. Stand with just the balls of your feet on the stair and your heels hanging over the edge, your feet six to ten inches apart. Balance yourself , if necessary, by holding lightly onto a wall or other convenient object. Raise yourself slowly up onto your toes, pause, the lower yourself all the way down, so that your heels are actually below the level of the step, pause again, then go all the way back up onto your toes. Repeat this exercise slowly until your calves start to burn.

Calves are such a high rep muscle that you may do twenty-five or more toe raises. After you gain some strength, you can try doing the first ten or so on one leg, doubling the load the individual calf must lift. Simply bend one knee and hold that foot up in the air, so the opposite calf does all the work. Try ten on one leg, then ten on the other, then, as a second set, immediately perform many as you can with both legs. If you don’ t happen to have a stair to step on, you can probably a brick, two by four, or something similar.

If you are really interested in conditioning for a sport that involves running, do the leg and calf exercises outlined here, then get out and run some sprints. Your legs will be in better running condition and just as powerful as guys working in the fanciest gyms.