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Almost anyone serious about improving their physique will be interested in new exercises for calves. This is because the calves are a very stubborn muscle that are worked every time you walk, run, step, stand up, climb stairs, and more. As a result, it can often be hard to improve calf development. However, don’t think you’re limited to only lifting weights. Below are some cardio exercises for calves that could lead to the size and separation you’re looking for.
Take a look at any experienced distance cyclist, and you’ll see someone with highly developed calves. You can take advantage of this yourself by adding biking to your routine. This could either be in the form of riding an actual bicycle, an exercise bike in the gym, or even a spin bike.
Your workouts will vary depending on which option you choose, but you need to ensure that you’re doing it the proper way. Firstly, make sure that when your pedal foot is at the bottom of a crank rotation, that your leg is fully extended at both the knee and ankle. You’ll often see people at the gym using a recumbent bike and their legs never go to full extension. Doing this will reduce the emphasis placed on the calves.
You’ll also want to increase the intensity of the ride itself. Simply hopping on the bike for 20-30 minutes per day won’t build big calves, or else half the people that regularly go to a fitness center would have huge calves. Distance cyclists not only have defined calves because of all the pedaling they do, but because so much of it ends up being up steep hills. Make sure you’re doing (or at least mimicking) this in some of your biking, too.
If you’ve ever channeled your inner boxer and tried to skip rope, you likely found out very quickly how hard this is on the calves. This is because the calves are used very heavily in jumping, and with literally every single revolution of the rope, you have to jump off the ground.
Don’t be surprised if you get a massive pump in your calves the first few times you try this. Just keep at it, as you’ll adapt soon enough. You very well may need these initial workouts to improve your coordination, too. Keep practicing and you’ll not only improve your calf development, but your footwork and cardio. Start off with 3-5 rounds of 60 seconds, building up to 10 rounds of 3 minutes.
Hill sprints are not only one of the best cardio workouts you can do, but one of the best exercises for calves, as well. This is because you have to dig into the ground with the ball of your foot to get up the hell, flexing the calf hard to take each step. The fact that you’re going up the hill at maximum speed and intensity makes them just that much more effective.
To get the most out of your hill sprints, try to run up a grassy hill instead of a paved one. This will provide less ballistic shock to your joints, while letting you dig into the hill even more since the ground will be a little softer. Also, the steeper the hill is, the more you can expect it to work both your calves and cardio. What your workouts look like will vary depending on the length and grade of your hill.
Regardless of which of these cardio exercises for calves you choose, you can expect a couple things to happen. First, your calf development should significantly improve rather quickly. Second, your cardio, athleticism, and maybe even coordination will all increase, too. Add any or all to your routine and see how quickly you can make progress.