After a few years of working out regularly, but before I was running, I wanted my calves to look stronger and Doug suggested running. I wasn’t excited about it, but it actually did the trick.
One time in Pilates, our instructor was adding more reps to the calf portion of our workout and someone asked “Calves? Really?” Yes, really! They make a big difference in how your legs look.
After my HIIT (20 min) and Steady (20 min) run yesterday, I also did a 5-minute plank (switching it up with up-down, saw, side plank so as not to get bored) and a calf exercise just like we do in Pilates on prop day. I used an exercise ball, but you could also do it without or stand on a step with your heels hanging over the edge.
Here’s what I did for yesterday’s calf workout:
Stand facing a wall leaning on an exercise ball that is about at hip level, with your hands behind your lower back.
Next, go up and down for 20 counts
Point your toes out to first position and hold for 30 seconds (keep squeezing your butt)
Up and down for 20 counts, toes out still
Point your toes in and hold for another 30 seconds (yes, squeezing still)
Up and down for 20 counts, toes in
Back to toes forward, hold for 30 seconds
Up and down for 20 counts
Stretch it out!
Remember, don’t let yourself get a cramp. Stop whenever you need to to prevent it. You want it to burn, you don’t want to hurt yourself!
Now on to those veggies.
These are two very simple sides that don’t take a lot to make delicious. A really great baked potato just takes time. Sure, you could poke it with a fork and toss it in the microwave, but it won’t be nearly as good. Both will be listed on my recipe page.
Perfect Baked Potato
Preheat oven to 450
Preferably, choose organic (regular potatoes make the Dirty Dozen list), and scrub those potatoes well, removing any bad spots.
Brush potatoes all over with olive oil
Generously sprinkle all over with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
Place on baking sheet and bake for about an hour (will vary depending on size–mine were pretty hefty)
The skin should crisp up nicely and the inside should be nice and fluffly!
I prefer the thin asparagus, but you can use whatever you prefer. I also prefer to roast these in my toaster over since they are the perfect fit.
Preheat toaster oven (or regular oven) to 400
Wash asparagus, snap off tough bottom ends and place in single layer on a cookie sheet lined with foil
Drizzle generously with olive oil, sprinkle with regular salt (kosher will be too crunchy) and fresh ground pepper
Roast for about 10 minutes, rolling them over with a fork about half way through. They will be slightly wrinkled, nice and tender when poked with a fork.
If desired, squeeze on a little lemon or a grating of fresh parmesan (I usually skip this as they are delicious as is, but sometimes do it when I’m feeling fancy).
Tell me, do you normally exercise your calves or do they just get the residual benefits of your other exercises?
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