5 simple steps for toned calf muscles

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Get lower legs like Rita Ora, Miranda Kerr and Millie Mackintosh with this simple 5 step exercise plan.

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If you want amazing calf muscles, you need to read this amazing 5-step programme we've nicked from Fitness First personal trainer, Paul Cheeseman.

There's nothing complicated here, just good old fashioned exercises, top tips and helpful advice...

Use the calf toning equipment at the gym

Most modern gyms have calf machines, but it's important to follow the instructions so you don't damage your knees, feet or ankles. Lift and lower the weights in smooth fluid motions - if you're letting the weight drop every time you might need to take it down a peg.

Or try a simple calf raise exercise at home

Hold on to a chair for balance and, with your feet hip width apart, slowly raise your heels until you're on your tip toes. Balance your body weight on the balls of your feet then slowly lower yourself. Repeat as many times as you can until you feel a slight 'burn' in your calves.

You could also try sissy squats that target your quads, hamstrings and calves. Rise up onto your toes and bend your knees 90 degrees as you lean your torso back 45 degrees. Your body should form a straight line from knees to shoulders. Do two to three sets of 15.

Toned legs need a full body workout

It's essential to perform a full cardiovascular workout on the treadmill, cross trainer or rower to improve your calves. Skipping, stair climbing and cycling are also really good options. Push yourself to do an hour of cardio three times a week if you want to lose weight (giving your toned muscles a chance to shine through).

Try exercises that tackle your shins and peroneals

To work the peroneals (which run down the outer aspect of your shins) stand with your heels hip-width apart and your toes out at an angle. Rise up onto your toes as high as possible, hold for a second and slowly return to your starting position. Repeat for 20 repetitions.

Train like Jessica Ennis with calf toning sprint drills

'Look like an athlete, train like an athlete' with sprint drills. These speedy little manoeuvres are crucial for activating fast twitch muscle fibres in your legs. The more of these you have, coupled with a low body fat level, the more toned you will be on the calf front.

Will you be giving this workout a try? Tweet us @handbagcom



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