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How to build and develop strong and appealing legs

Updated on March 24, 2016
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I am a fitness enthusiast who wants to help people see the benefits of personal fitness to allow people to live their lives to the fullest.

Why work your legs

  • Strong legs add to the appearance of strength
  • Helps you take on heavier loads
  • Won’t so weird when you clearly spent too much time on your upper body
  • Oddly enough voted the top 3 sexiest body part on a man
  • Helps builds muscles in others areas

NO MORE CHICKEN LEGS!

It important to pay attention to your legs for many reasons; one reason being that it will help your increase your overall lifts, but that’s not what’s we’re talking about now; instead let’s talk about another reason it’s important to work your legs which is that you don’t what to look top heavy looking like a spinning top (no more wearing pants to the gym). Now you can simply do a lot of leg curls, leg extensions, squats, lunges, etc. the list goes on but if you’re not too carful your leg can look like a drumstick. You may see a woman who has worked on her buttocks but forgot her calf. This is because you worked your calf muscles very poorly or not at all, so if you’re looking to have that tapered fit leg keep reading to learn how to work your calf muscles.

The calf make up

There are three muscle groups to focus on when building strong and appealing legs which is the gastrocnemius, soleus, and the tibialls. The gastrocnemius is located on the back of the leg; it’s the most visible muscle of the three. Most calve exercises people do work this part of the muscle only and they are totally unaware of it. The soleus muscle is also located behind the leg, but unlike the gastrocnemius muscle it’s not as visible; in fact, it lies beneath the gastrocnemius muscle. When worked together these muscles gives your leg a bulk with an uniformed appearance. The third muscle would be the tibialis, which is located in front of the leg; working this muscle makes your leg appear bigger from the front and the side. So now that you know what muscles that needed to be worked, check out these targeted exercises to build strong and appealing legs.

Technology

There are some tools designed to build your calf muscle such as the Explosive calf builder (that's the name). This handy gadget helps improve your vertical jump (for all you ball player), as well as promote powerful muscle contractions.

Gastrocnemius

This muscle is worked when using straight heeled raised exercises; it starts with the standing calf raise, very simple exercise. Keep in mind when doing this exercise slightly bending your knees will put less emphasis on your gastrocnemius and more on your soleus (we haven’t gotten to that part yet). Try adding weight (not a lot to where you can perform properly) such as dumbbells, barbell, resistant bands, or a kettle bell for resistance. If you have a gym membership you can do calf raises on the leg press machine. There is also the donkey raise is much more effective due to the positioning of the exercise. First bend over supporting yourself on a bench if you have a partner (assuming that are not too heavy) have them get on your back. Next raise your heels and hold the contraction then return to the starting position.

Soleus

This muscle is worked when using bent knee exercises. So your basically doing calf raises sitting down instead of standing. When working this muscle as well any other muscle group it’s important to perform this type or exercise properly; there is no need to add an unnecessary amount of weight, just focus on high reps and great performance. It’s very important to work both the gastrocnemius and the soleus equally to maintain that tapered look.

Tibialis tip

  • You could be working the tibialis muscle while you at work.
  • Jumping rope is a fun way to build this muscle.

Tibialis

Now let’s bring it all together and hit the front of the leg; now this overlooked muscle and be simply targeted with toe raises. Be sure to hold the contraction then slowly return to the starting position. There various stretches that help strengthen the tibialis. Resistant bands can help work the tibialis--- simply lay on floor with your legs slightly raised in the air. Put the band close to your toes----- pull the band back to the point where your toes appear to be trying to point back---- then push your feet forward in a controlled motion.

Q&A

Q:Does the placement of the feet make a difference?

A:Yes, it does, people try pointing their feet outwards and inwards to work different parts of the calf, but by placing your feet forward you work them evenly so I personally don’t see the point in switching the placement of your feet.


Keep in mind

If you are serious about growing your legs then you have to attention to them as you as would your biceps chest or your shoulders (because let’s face it, these are some forgettable muscles when we get in the gym). Thinking it’s fair to work your calves after you burned all your energy in other areas is the wrong way to approach the situation. As stated before, you want to high reps and quality performance; you’re only cheating yourself and wasting your time trying to take on more than you can handle.

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