A Calf Workout, Plus More on that Asparagus and Baked Potato

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.

strong calves
Strolling in Cannes

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.

stability ball calf workout
Ok, so the ball is more on my lower ribs here, than hips and that’s ok too. Just not on your belly!

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!

Perfect Asparagus

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.

perfect roasted asparagus

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).

Enjoy!

Tell me, do you normally exercise your calves or do they just get the residual benefits of your other exercises?

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Comments 4

  • Thanks for the tips on asparagus, I nearly always overcook them.

    Calf workout timely. I’ve been incorporating the bun workout and have been eager for another one I can add in.

    Work out request-more ideas using the exercise ball 🙂

    • Request noted! Although I don’t have access to one at home, so this may mean I’ll have to take pictures at the gym to go along with my workouts. Glad to hear you’ve kept using the bun workout!

  • I’ve always had monster calves from sports and running, so I often ignore them 🙂

    And I’ve been copying your asparagus (all the time!) since you made it at my house a few years ago!

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