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By Leslie McNabb

Created: 10/15/2009
Last Updated: 08/08/2012

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Q: What exercises can I do to achieve more defined calf muscles? I've always wanted calves like a soccer player but never was much good at sports.

If toning your calves is a priority, choose walking uphill or running instead of biking and swimming for your cardiovascular activity. For added strength, try these exercises:

Double Calf Raises

  • Standing with your legs hip distance apart, lift your heels off the ground as high as possible, and then slowly lower your heels back to the ground. 
  • Take one count to lift the heels and then 3 slow counts to lower.
  • Work up to 3 sets of 15 repetitions each.

double calf raisedouble calf raise

Single Calf Raises

  • For an extra challenge, do the above exercise one foot at a time while holding the other foot off the ground.

single calf raisesingle calf raise

Calf Raises with Extra Weight

  • For more challenge, do your calf raises while holding weights in your hands. 
  • Do not allow the spine to arch or the weights to swing during the exercise.

Photos by Jeffrey Mosier Photography