I just started at a new job at a hotel and my uniform is a knee-high skirt, nylons and high heels! My calves do not look nice in this get up, what can I do?
Knee-high skirts, nylons and high heels, oh my! The best solution to your problem is a strengthening and stretching workout for your calves. Not only will it bring shape to your legs, it will increase your stamina for standing in high heels all day.
The muscles between your knees and ankles form the foundation of your body. This group of muscles control your ankles, feet, and toes, and they spring into action every time you take a step. The biggest muscle on the back of the lower leg (below your knee) is the gastrocnemius (calf). The soleus is a much smaller muscle located between your heel (this muscle inserts into the achilles tendon; tendons attach muscles to bones). They are responsible for raising your body weight over your toes and help you jump up and lunge forward.
It is important to remember that results don’t happen overnight. However, if you do this workout every other day for six weeks or more you will see results.
- Hold onto a wall or chair
- Pour all of your body weight into your right leg and spread out your toes
- Bend your left knee
- Raise your right heel (contracting the calf)
- Lower your right heel to the ground
- Bend your left knee and extend your right leg out behind you
- Press your right heel into the ground until you feel a stretch in the calf
- Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes
The basic workout:
- 10 slow, even repetitions (5 counts up, 5 counts down)
- 10 up quick, pause, down slow (1 count up, pause, 3 counts down)
- Perform the stretch
- Repeat on the left
- Do 2 sets on each leg
The intermediate workout:
- Increase your repetitions to 15 – 20
- Increase your sets to 3 on each leg
The advanced workout:
- Hold a 5-10lb dumbbell in your hand
- If your balance will sustain it, hold a 5-10lb dumbbell in both hands
Written by Sarah Brown – A fitness instructor