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#RealGirlFitness: Tone up Those Calves!

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Slit-skirts, the short-shorts, or tiny printed dresses, they all show off your legs. So, we spoke fitness expert, Nisha Varma who is a Reebok Master Trainer based in Pune and asked her how we can train our way to fabulous legs. Add these expert-approved moves to your day and see the difference.


1. Hop, Skip and Jump: We obviously didn’t know this when we were younger but skipping actually works 2 major muscles of our calves (the gastrocnemius and the soleus, if you want to get technical!). Take a trip down memory lane by taking out that skipping rope and going crazy with it. Start small with 30 skips, go up to 50, 100 and then 200 and very soon, you’ll be skipping your way to sexy legs.


calves skip - point1


2. Standing Calf Raise: Face a wall and stand about two feet away. Place your hands against the wall, leaning your body in toward the wall in a straight line and keeping heels on the ground. Raise up onto your toes (which is basically the balls of your feet); and hold for 10 seconds. You should feel a stretch throughout your calves. Do 3 sets of 6 moves, with 30 seconds rest between each set. This should take you about 5 minutes. And then you can get back to work! Add dumb-bells to your regime as you get better.


What this video below to get a better picture!




3. Seated Calf Raise: Sit on a sturdy chair to with your feet flat and hip-width apart. Place the balls of your feet on a rectangular object, with toes flat on top of the object, pointing forwards. Now, lift your heels (as high as you can) while keeping your toes flat on the object. Hold your heels up for 5 to 10 seconds, then lower the heels as you feel a stretch in your calves. Do 3 sets of 6, and mission accomplished!


Check out the video below!



4. Start, Walk, Sprint: Be it taking a walk in the park, jogging on the track or even running—add short bursts of sprinting to your favourite cardio regime can help your cause too! You see, when we walk or run, the most impact is on the heel, but when we sprint, the focus is on the ball of the foot. Add 10 to 30 second sprint intervals.


5. Switch to incline mode: If you’re already hitting the gym, make the most of your treadmill time by walking/running on an incline. This will stretch and work out major calf muscles. Another low-impact workout can be done on the elliptical training which mimics the motion of climbing stairs. In fact, not only will it tone up your calves (and thighs) but also re-lengthen the calf muscles if you haven’t worked out in a while.


P.S.: Make sure you hydrate well before you exercise. Go all out but make sure you take adequate rest. Check your form (you can Google videos or use apps if you are not sure about the right posture) to avoid injuries. Load up on proteins (eggs, grilled chicken, steamed fish, tofu, cottage cheese etc) to recover muscle mass.


drink


MUST READ: 5 Simple Exercises for a Better Butt

MUST-READ: Turn Your Tummy Flab into Washboard Abs with These 6 Simple Exercises!
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