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Great Legs From The Knee Down

It is far too often that people ignore their leg development from the knee down. Training the calf and soleus (the long flat muscle under the calf) isn’t really part of most workout programs. The devil is always in the details. If you truly want to have mind-boggling legs pay attention to ALL the muscles in your legs and you won’t regret it.

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Each and every muscle in the leg has a part to play in that look you so desire. Ignore one at the expense of the others and those lacking muscles will only stick out down the road as your leg development progresses. Then you’ll want to play catch up when you yourself notice the difference.

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Stiff Calves Will Make You Faster, Being Faster Will Make You Look Better

Studies show that sprinters traditionally have stiffer calves that long distance runners, or the rest of us for that matter. By stiff I don’t mean inflexible. They just have the strength so that their feet don’t give as they drive their foot into the ground when sprinting. This stiffness translates directly into faster sprints.

Success leaves clues…so follow the bread crumbs. Train your calves and improve your speed. The faster you can run the better able you are to work all the muscles of your legs and improve your results.

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Working the Calves

For body weight exercises you can do sprint drills like Ankle Hops, Single Ankle Hops, 45 degree Ankle Hops. Check out the video link to see how it’s done. You can also do traditional weight machine exercises like standing calf raises (see the photo above), or seated calf raises.

If you do workout at a gym you can do Standing Calf Raises, Seated Calf Raises on machines or with dumbbells.

The calves are incredibly resilient muscles so it’s best to work them with high reps. If you have weights or machines, heavy weights for high reps is good too!

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Avoiding Shin Splints

Shin splints are most often due to weak muscles in the front of the shin. Although there are a myriad of muscles in the lower leg the tibalis anterior is usually the culprit. One of the easiest ways to work this muscle is simply to walk backwards on your heels with your toes up off the ground. A couple of sets for 20 metres a few times a week should fix the issue in no time.

If you use a gym you can do standing calf raises facing out instead of in towards the machine to also work the tibalis. Simply place your heels on the pad where the balls of your feet typically go and practice raising and lowering your toes as high and low as you can.

Good or Great

In the end you decide how you want to look. Yes, it’s simply a decision. If you do want to go for the brass ring and be great you will put in the work. All that attention to detail adds up. Your success, your joy, your confidence will come from knowing that you put in the effort where most won’t, where most stop, where most give up. You climbed the mountain. You did it.

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