5 Exercises to work your lower legs to get extra lean legs

Your Soleus is situated at the bottom of your calf muscle and functions virtually everytime you move your legs. It also plays an important part in circulation so it's important to train it as much as the rest of your body.

Intermediate Exercises to work your Soleus

How to do weighted calf raises with dumbbells to challenge your lower legs

  • Choose two dumbbells of equal weight
  • Hold one in each hand by your sides
  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart
  • Make sure your toes are pointing straight ahead
  • Slowly move all your weight onto the balls of your feet until your heels are completely off the floor
  • Stretch until you can feel the tension in your calves
  • Hold this position for a moment
  • Slowly move back onto your heels
  • Return to starting position
  • Repeat the exercise

How to do calf raises whilst sitting to tone your lower legs

  • Choose a suitable weight for a straight barbell bar
  • Take a block and place it in front of your bench
  • While seated on the edge of your bench, place the balls of your feet on the block
  • Pick up your barbell and place it over your upper thighs, above the knee
  • Raise the weight up on your toes as high as possible to stretch the calves comfortably
  • Return your legs down to the starting position
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions

How to do a calf raise with a barbell to challenge the back of your legs

  • Choose a barbell of an appropriate weight
  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart
  • Lift the barbell onto your shoulders, behind your head
  • Position yourself on a stair or raised surface, so that the balls of your feet are flat on the ground, and your heels are hanging off the edge of the surface
  • Holding the barbell securely, slowly raise yourself onto your toes
  • Hold the position for a moment
  • Slowly return to the starting position
  • Repeat the exercise

Advanced Exercises to work your Soleus

How to do weighted calf raises whilst squatting to tone the back of your legs

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and toes pointing straight forwards
  • Hold adequate weight across the top of your back on a bar
  • Keep your back straight and slowly lower your buttocks towards the floor until your knees are at a 90 degree angle
  • Do not let your knees move in front of your toes
  • Push through the balls of your feet to rise up onto your tiptoes
  • Hold this position for a moment, the start to lower yourself back down so your heels are down
  • Repeat all reps before returning to a standing position

How to do a calf raise using a smith machine to tone your lower legs

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and the smith bar across your shoulders (Add a step if you want to make it harder)
  • Adjust your position so that the balls of your feet are on the step and your heels are hanging off the back edge
  • Slowly raise yourself onto your toes
  • Hold your position for a second, feeling the tension in your calves
  • Slowly lower yourself back down onto the balls of your feet
  • Repeat the exercise