According to Runner's World, a survey revealed that calf pulls were the second most common injury. If you neglect strengthening and stretching the lower leg, you are at risk of injuring your calf muscles. The calf muscles are made up of the large gastrocnemius and the smaller soleus. When one of these muscles stretches too far and separates from its insertion at the Achilles tendon, a pull occurs. The severity of a pull can range from minor micro tears that heal in a few weeks to complete tears that may take months to heal.
The calf muscles act to stabilize your ankles and feet. When your calves are strong, they are better able to prevent rolling or excessive pronation or supination -- in which your foot turns inward or outward, respectively. Runners, walkers and those who play team sports benefit from strong lower leg muscles that keep the mechanics of the lower leg in line.
Daily calf workouts at least three times a week will help tone, strengthen and alter the shape of these muscles. Don't skip your calves when developing your exercise program. Working on your lower legs will help your calves’ ability to stabilize your body as it moves up and down.
Try This Calf Exercise that tones your calves, as well as your inner thighs and butt:
Start with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Point both toes out at a 45-degree angle. Hold your hands in front of your chest throughout the exercise to maintain balance. Tighten your stomach, raise your heels up and squat. Don't allow your knees to pass your ankles. Hold for a second before squeezing your butt to stand up. Lower your heels and repeat 15 times.
SmartSole Exercise Insoles convert your everyday shoes and sneakers into toning shoes and relieve pressure on your joints & back. The built up arch support make these great insoles for flat feet and insoles for shin splints. and the gel insert in the heel strike absorbs shock and provides plantar fasciitis relief.
The Maxwell Seat posture corrector tilts your spine and pelvis upward relieving pressure and strain away from your lower back and hips while alleviating the pressure on the base of your spine.The Maxwell Seat is engineered to promote a stress reducing neutral body position that's a great posture corrector for women and men.
FitBalls Hand Exerciser alleviates repetitive strain injury from texting and typing. The three color-coded fitness and therapy balls of increasing resistance will strengthen and restore flexibility to your fingers, hands and forearms. It's a great hand exerciser and hand strengthener.