Several muscles are engaged when you jump, but when you extend your ankles and explode off the ground, your calf muscles are the last to activate. Performing the calf circuit below will develop the strength and explosiveness you need to clean the glass for a rebound or pull down a football from mid-air in the corner of the end zone.
Challenging the calf muscles in two different ways, this circuit alternates between strength and plyometric exercises. After a total of four exercises repeated two to four times, your calf muscles will feel exhausted in the best way possible. Videos above.
LSU Women’s Soccer Calf Raises
- Hold on to something for balance
- Focus on going through the full range of motion
Clint Mathis Jump Rope
Pierre Barrieu, U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team coach, recommends 10 sets of 20 jumps each with minimal rest. This will enhance your calf muscles’ ability to explode quickly.
Indiana Swimming Toes-Out Calf Raise
Strengthening your calf muscles from different angles is essential, because you don’t always explode off the ground and land with your feet perfectly square. This exercise changes the angle of your feet to target your calf muscles in a different way.
- Assume position in a standing or sitting Calf Raise Machine with your toes pointed at a 45-degree angle
- Go through the full range of motion
- Perform slowly with control
Ronnie Brown Mini Hurdle Single-Leg Hop and Hold
Just as you need to strengthen your calf muscles in different angles, you need to perform plyometric exercises in different directions. You’ll be trained and ready to explode in any direction at any point during a game.
- Perform various Single-Leg Hops
- Maintain ankle, knee and hip stability
- Focus on sticking the landing
- Perform in opposite direction using opposite leg after first rep
Sets/Reps: 1×2 of each movement