The calf muscles are engaged into activity when you are stepping, walking, jogging, jumping and performing various resistance training exercises for the lower body. Since the calf muscles are used so frequently and are accustomed to activity on a daily basis, it is appropriate to directly and indirectly exercise them more often than other muscle groups. Muscle groups, for example like the chest, back and shoulders (which for most people are not used as often as the calves) should not be heavily trained with resistance more than two times in a week. Calves on the other hand can be heavily trained with resistance as often as every other day. Since the calf muscles do work every day (for most people), it is not necessary to heavily train them with resistance each day.
You can begin your calf training by incorporating a combination of weight training or resistance training movements in addition to cardiovascular training exercises. Weight training calf exercises that directly target the muscle group includes: seated double or single leg calf extensions, leg press machine double or single leg calf extensions, standing double leg calf extensions with weight using the Smith machine bar and standing single leg extensions with weight where you support your body by holding on to a wall or machine with one hand and hold a dumbell in the other. These exercises are just a few of the many you can perform which really add size and strength to the calf muscles giving them periods of brief but intense training and can do done so using exercise equipment found in most gyms. Cardiovascular training exercises are beneficial in providing the muscles with a longer period of sustained muscular activity and boosting endurance. Just a few really good cardiovascular calf exercises include: fast walking, jogging or running, bicycling, aerobics and martial arts.
If you are a beginner to calf training, plan to start out a little lighter to ease into heavier training. Start with a schedule of having a calf workout every third day which includes 3 to 4 sets of a resistance training exercise followed by 15 to 20 minutes of one or more cardiovascular training exercises. If you are at the intermediate training level, you should try to do the above same exercise except do so every other day. Feel free to change up and rearrange your calf exercises even adding a few more sets to each weight training workout or time to the cardio workout to shock and keep them guessing. Just don’t go over board with trying to do too much. Your body will let you know if you are doing too much as the calf muscles may remain persistently sore and tired and leave you with the feeling of not wanting to train. Remember, for the muscles to grow you not only allow them to work but they must also rest.
You should, before starting any resistance or cardiovascular training program consult a medical physician to ensure you are in a healthy enough condition to do so. This is especially important if you have any health or physical conditions that would adversely affect you being able to properly perform these exercise movements safely.