ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Great Workouts For Your Quads and Calves – Part One

Updated on May 22, 2013

There are many reasons why people workout, whether to improve health, lose some fat or build muscle. It could even be a combination of all three and there could be any number of other reasons.

Whether we like to admit it or not, one of the reasons why many of us submit to exercise regimes is simply because of vanity. Although another way to put it is a confidence booster. Muscle definition – or even a physique that is more toned than normal – enables people to put their best foot forward and present themselves to the world as they want to be seen, which is no bad thing.

However, when this is the cases, the upper body can often take centre stage as it is the part of the body seen first. By contrast, the legs can go ignored as they are usually covered up and are seen as the support act rather than the main player. However, this would mean doing yourself a disservice as the legs cannot only offer a great resource for showing off, but must also be admired for their practical/physical ability.

Consider how much time you spend on your feet on any given day and couple this with the amount that you weigh and this will give you an idea of the amount of pressure the legs go through. Just because it is just your feet that hurt at the end of the day, it does not mean that your legs have not gone through a tremendous amount of work in supporting the rest of the body.

Benchmark Tests

Before embarking on a course of exercise (which has been recommended by a doctor or personal trainer), it is a good idea to undertake some tests to determine the strength of your leg muscles. These can be timed so that you can note your improvements.

A simple one to start with is to stand on one leg by lifting the other a small distance from the floor and timing how long you last. As your quadriceps get stronger, you will find that the length of time you can spend on one leg increases.

Many of us believe that the reason we are unable to stand on one leg for long is because we do not have good balance, however, were there is no problem with standing on two legs and you would still be standing upright. What is more likely to be the problem is that the body is not used to standing on one leg and the strength easily provided by two legs is not so easy when it is just one, the pressure is too much and the leg muscles start to complain.

Make the process slightly harder by raising your knee so that it forms a right angle in front of you and slowly lifting your foot out in front of you to straighten your leg. See how long you can hold your leg straight out in front of you for as long as you can.

An arguably more difficult test is the fake chair test. Place your back against a clear expanse of wall and slide down it, moving your legs out until your knees are at a right angle and remain in place as if you are sitting in an imaginary chair. This process tests the quads, which are the muscles needed when lowering our bodies (“lift with the legs, not with the back”) so it is important to keep these muscles strong.


Whether you want to pretend that you have taken a trip back to your childhood or a boxer training for a fight, grabbing the skipping rope is a good idea for those seeking to work the leg muscles. Though it may seem like a fairly insubstantial way to exercise, this is deceptive as there are a range of benefits offered by the activity. Not only can skipping be included as part of an effective warm-up for other forms of exercise, but it also offers the added bonus of a good cardiovascular workout in its own right. Even if you do not have a skipping rope, you can still perform the action of skipping, by moving your arms in the same manner that is needed for turning the rope. However, this can result in laziness as you may not jump as high as you would with a rope. Fortunately, you can use any length of rope that you may have lying around and skipping ropes are cheap to buy



Going for a run or a jog is great for the legs as well as the heart. If running is too much for you, consider going for a long walk in an area that has some inclines so you can walk uphill. Alternatively, try wearing some ankle weights to increase the amount of work that your body has to do. Any sport which means that you are likely to undertake a significant amount of running, such as football, rugby, basketball or field hockey, will also offer your legs the means the develop and tone up.


There are a wide variety of exercises that can be undertaken without the need for any special equipment that will help develop, tone and/or strengthen the muscles of the thighs and calves. Many of these may be undertaken without us even realise them; for example, when we sit down, we have to make use of the muscles in the legs to guide us into the chair. Accordingly, undertaking squats – where the feet are planted shoulder width apart and the knees are bent to squat down as if getting ready to sit in a chair – is a great way to exercise the quads. Start with 10 reps and gradually build up to more as your strength increases. Intensify the benefit of this exercise by completing squat jumps: as you straighten up from a squat, jump into the air before coming back down into a squat.

This list is by no means exhaustive so feel free to follow my posts to ensure that you get more tips and hints for perfect pins.

What part of your legs do you think need some attention?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)