Try these 7 easy exercises to improve your calves

Summer is rapidly approaching, and that means it's time to get your beach body ready! One of the best ways to increase definition is by building muscle. Many people shy away from strength training because they're afraid of building too much muscle and accidently bulking up, but WebMD confirms that this isn't likely to happen unless you're eating tons of calories and performing heavy lifting. 
Strength training will actually make your legs more defined and shapely, according to WebMD. So here's a simple exercise routine you can do at home --no equipment required! Feel free to adjust repetitions based on your personal fitness level.
1. Calf Raises
This will be the cornerstone of your calf workouts -- raises are simple, easy to do, and have several variations. All you do is stand with your feet flat on the ground and slowly raise up on your tip toes. Do 20 raises with toes forward, then 20 raises with toes pointed outward. If you can, repeat 2-3 times. If you want to up the intensity, try holding onto dumbells while doing the calf raises.

2. Sumo Squat
This workout will work out your calves along with your upper legs, thighs, and even your abs. With your toes pointing outward, spread your legs and slowly squat down as far as possible. Perform 20 squats and rest. 

3. Raised Sumo Squat
Now things get a bit more challenging. You'll begin at the same starting position as the sumo squat, but instead of squatting you'll raise up on your toes. After 10 raises, rest and repeat 2-3 times.

4. Skater Hops
It's time to pretend like you're at the roller rink! Begin with your right leg in front of your left leg, bring yourself to a neutral position and swing your left leg in front of your left. Give yourself space to move side-to-side. According to Men's Health this exercise not only builds strength, but it also helps with developing balance.

5. Wall Calve Stretch
For the next two stretches, you'll need to find a solid wall. Press your foot against the wall (like the photo below). You should feel a stretch in your calves. Lean forward to intensify the strength of the stretch.

6. Wall Lunge Stretch
This stretch also uses a wall. Perform a lunge in front of a wall using your hands against it to maintain balance. More advanced users can opt to skip the wall altogether. To really feel the stretch, make sure your back foot is flat on the ground

7. Cardio 
Although building muscles can make areas stronger and have more definition, there's no such thing as spot-reducing body fat. According to WebMD, to lose weight in any area of the body you must lose fat all over. Cardio doesn't have to be a pain, though -- it could be a nice swim or a quick-paced walk, or a jog. Just increase your heart rate for 20-30 mins a few times a week. 
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