Building Olympic-winning lower legs is the dream of many athletes and people who wish to look great and stay fit. However, if you have tried to build bigger calf muscles for greater athletic strength and failed, you are probably not doing it right. On the other hand, you could be using the wrong equipment. It takes some effort and time to build an awesome pair of lower legs.
According to Jason Kelly, a British track cyclist and three-time Olympic gold medalist, propelling your body to winning speeds requires amazing leg strength, which comes from working out the right muscle set. This is not impossible, as you will find out from the following tips.
Do leg exercises that allow safe progressive overload on muscle building. This means adding weights one bar at a time. This will help you avoid putting a strain on your muscles or ankle joints.
Do Lots Of Squats
Squats are a great way to build your leg muscle strength and power. However, you should try to vary the exercises in sets of lifts and explosive squats. This will help you generate maximum power.
The problem for many athletes when they do squats to build the lower legs is lack of balance. You should focus on the technique that minimizes the risk of injury and maximizes the use of specific leg muscles.
You can achieve this by bracing your chest up and maintaining weight on the front part of your heels since your heel is smaller and weaker at the front part toward the toes. It will enable you to maintain control when you move downwards and explosively thrust upward.
To help maintain your balance, you can use special equipment, such as a squat stand, if there is a spotter. A spotter will help you push yourself harder to avoid being stuck in the middle of a squat.
Even experienced weightlifters sometimes encounter moments when they felt they could have done one more effort but got stuck. The safety arms of the squat stand will help you catch the weight when you are about to fail.
Focus On Leg Presses
Leg presses are as effective as squats for leg muscle building. They are specifically ideal for building your calf, ankles and feet. They are considered safer than squats because they provide a controlled environment, in which you can systematically transit to heavier weights.
You should use a press leg machine that will particularly help you build quadriceps strength. However, you should choose the most suitable machine for your needs. There are two types found in most gyms:
On the upright leg press machine, you sit upright, allowing you to push the weight back and forth. The 45-degree leg press machine, on the other hand, enables you to sit and push the weight at an angle of 45 degree, which is more preferable because it allows a comprehensive range of motion.
Focus On Foot Box Exercises
You may consider doing a series of foot-lifting and rotation exercises in a box formation. You could do the motion repeatedly and resting in between sets. You can then increase the power of rotation with each set.
Strive For Core Stability
Core stability is crucial when you do lower leg exercises. It will enable you to lift bigger weights in an easy-to-control manner. Try doing stability ball holds, press-ups and pull-ups and stiff-leg deadlifts. Trap bar deadlifts are also valuable for lower leg muscles stability.
It involves picking up either side of a bar of which you will be standing in the middle. It is advisable to use platforms to raise it slightly off the ground. This will enable you to avoid straining when lifting it off the floor.
The exercises described here can be very effective in helping you build enough lower leg power to win a competition, such as cycling, running, rowing or any sport that involves the legs. They can also get you to develop well-shaped legs to win a weightlifting or modeling contest.
To achieve this feat, you need to know which muscles to target—calf muscles, in this case, and the best exercises to maximize their potential. Finally, the equipment you will use are equally important, as they will help you focus your strength on the specific sets of muscles during training.
Some of the exercises can be incredibly complex and prone to injury. You may want to have a partner or a specialist to help you avoid injury and do them right.