Not much attention is given to our calf muscles. You do not see a lot of videos on Instagram on how to build big ol' calves or how to lean them out. Our calf muscles are important for ankle mobility, stability, and strength. They are used when we run, when we jump, and when we climb stairs. When we do lunges, burpees, and single leg squats, we use our calves.

There are two muscles that make up our calves:

the Gastrocnemius and Soleus. 

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Try these exercises below to strengthen your calves and improve your ankle stability. Which will result in stronger running, hiking, and climbing. 

  Eccentric Calf Raises:  Start by standing on both feet and then press up onto your tip toes. From there balance on one foot and then slowly lower down back to the ground using only the one foot. You can stand in front of a wall or hold onto a chair to stay balanced. Do 2 sets of 12-15 reps/side.   To target your soleus more, you can do this exercise seated and place a weight onto your knees.

Eccentric Calf Raises: Start by standing on both feet and then press up onto your tip toes. From there balance on one foot and then slowly lower down back to the ground using only the one foot. You can stand in front of a wall or hold onto a chair to stay balanced. Do 2 sets of 12-15 reps/side. 

To target your soleus more, you can do this exercise seated and place a weight onto your knees.

  Eccentric Calf Raises on a step: Repeat the same steps from the first exercise, but you'll be standing on a small box or you can use a stair at home. This wil increase the range of motion at the ankle.

Eccentric Calf Raises on a step: Repeat the same steps from the first exercise, but you'll be standing on a small box or you can use a stair at home. This wil increase the range of motion at the ankle.

  Agility ladder- Lateral In-In-Out-Out:  Start by standing at one end of the agility ladder. Step into the first square, leading with your right leg and then follow with your left. Then step the right foot out of the ladder and in front of the next square. Repeat all the way to the end. Then work your way back to the start but leading with your left leg. 

Agility ladder- Lateral In-In-Out-Out: Start by standing at one end of the agility ladder. Step into the first square, leading with your right leg and then follow with your left. Then step the right foot out of the ladder and in front of the next square. Repeat all the way to the end. Then work your way back to the start but leading with your left leg. 

  Agility ladder- Single leg In & Out hops:  Start by standing on your right foot on the left side of the ladder. Hop sideways into the square, then hop back out but forwards to the next square. Repeat all the way to the end. Turn around and repeat on your left leg. 

Agility ladder- Single leg In & Out hops: Start by standing on your right foot on the left side of the ladder. Hop sideways into the square, then hop back out but forwards to the next square. Repeat all the way to the end. Turn around and repeat on your left leg. 

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