OK, I told a little white lie. You’ll actually need a single step to do the calf raise effectively. Most of us have that around, right? If you don’t for whatever reason, it’s not an excuse! Just knock on your neighbor’s door or head outside to a neighborhood park. Or why not try them at work? You may get inquisitive looks from your co-workers, but then you can show them how it’s done.
“Bodyweight exercises are great because they can basically be done anytime, anywhere, and without all the costly gym memberships and fancy equipment, most of which you don’t need anyway,” says personal trainer and strength and conditioning specialist Tim Rabetoy.
Today, we’ll focus on legs with two awesome exercises that’ll have your legs shapely in no time!
Targets: Quads and Glutes
Technique: With your arms crossed over your chest and eyes straight ahead, squat down slowly as low as possible and then back up. Inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up.
Tip: Reach back, like you’re sitting in a chair when squatting down. This will prevent your knees from crossing in front of your toes, which can result in injury.
Stair/Step Calf Raise
Technique: Stand on a stair or step with a railing or something to hold onto nearby. Hang your heels off the back of the stair/step (about half on and half off). Keep your upper body straight and allow your heels to drop toward the ground until you feel a stretch in your calves. Push yourself up onto your toes, hold for one second, and repeat. Inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up.
Tip: When lifting up, focus on coming up onto your big toes. This will make the exercise more effective.
Stay tuned for the next part of this series, where I’ll reveal two great bodyweight exercises for your upper body!