There are many muscles in your legs. The front upper thigh muscles are called the "quadriceps" and the muscles located in the back of the leg are called the "hamstrings&.

The back part of your calves have two distinct muscles. One is called the "gastrocnemious& and the other is called the "soleus".

In my opinion if you already doing cardiovascular training (stairmaster, treadmill, bike or crosstrainer) as part of your routine, then it is counter productive to do additional calf work unless you are attempting to become a bodybuilder. However, if you are not doing cardiovascular work, I encourage you start now. If not, then throw in a couple of high repped calf raise exercises.


  • Go to the squat rack and place the barbell behind the neck and on your shoulders with your hand-grip so your arms are about at a right angle
  • You will find a natural grove for each side just above the rear deltoids (shoulders)
  • take a deep breath and stand erect with the weight and step out of the rack with the weight
  • space your feet a little wider than the width of your hips and then exhale
  • take a deep breath and look as far up to the ceiling as possible
  • pull your chest forward and your shoulders back and beginning to bend at the knees, keeping your back in a locked position
  • squat down with the weight until you feel your upper thighs go just below a imaginary parallel line with your knees
  • using you legs to push, stand back up with the weight and exhale as you press
  • do not lean forward as you stand erect
  • be sure when you stand up that you have your balance and then repeat
  • you should always use a spotter when attempting to execute this exercise


  • your individual machines may vary from sitting down like in a chair to one where you lie back so your legs are perpendicular to the ground
  • place you feet on the foot pads with a 16" width.
  • exhale and press the weight away from the body locking your legs at the knees
  • inhale and lower the weight until your knees can almost touch your stomach or chest (based on the type of machine and body type)
  • exhale and press back to the original starting position


  • find the machine labeled "leg extension"
  • place your legs behind the pads and inhale
  • point your toes upward towards your shins and exhale as you execute the exercise
  • extend the legs upward until they are in a locked position, pausing momentarily at the top
  • slowly lower the weight back to the original starting position and repeat


  • find the machine labeled "leg curls" or "hamstring curls"
  • place the pads on the lower back part of your calves and take a deep breath
  • as you exhale, push/pull your legs so they move towards the back part of your legs
  • inhale and slowly let the weight back down to the original starting position and repeat


BEGINNER PROGRAM (3-days/week)

  • Leg Press
3-4 sets of 10 reps
  • Leg Curls
3 sets of 10-12 reps

ADVANCED (2 sessions of a 4-day/wk program)

4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Leg Extensions
3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Leg Curls
3 sets of 10-12 reps


NOTE:  This site and the information provided herein is for informational purposes only. Neither it nor the content are designed to diagnose, treat, or cure any problem. You should contact your physician for further information, diagnosis, testing, or advice on how to use the information listed in this site. Before beginning any exercise program or eating modifications, always consult your physician first.