With the mercury rising and summer clothes coming out of the closet, summer is the perfect time to show some leg. Now, Life Fitness, the global leader in fitness equipment manufacturing, is giving you even more reason to grab your shorts with its search for America's best-looking calves.
â€œFrom barely there to firm and muscular, calf muscles come in all shapes and sizes,â€ said Kerri O'Brien, director of education, Life Fitness. â€œOur â€˜Search for the Best Calves' gives gym goers the chance to show off and learn how to further incorporate calf-building exercises into their regular workout routine and achieve real results.â€
To enter the search, fitness fans nationwide can email a photo of their calves along with their name, age and contact information to LifeFitness@jsha.com. Life Fitness will review the entries and select one lucky winner to receive a Life Fitness F3 Foldable Treadmill. All entrants will receive a Life Fitness branded towel. The Search begins July 8, 2010, and runs through August 8, 2010, and is open to U.S. residents only. For official rules, visit www.facebook.com/LifeFitness.
The Secret to Great Legs Starts with the Calves
When working out, gym goers tend to focus more on the upper and middle body than the lower body. According to O'Brien, the key to great calves is to use them. .
â€œYour calf muscles are put to good use when you perform the most basic functions of supporting your body weight through movement,â€ said O'Brien. â€œHowever, if you are already active, you may have to challenge them beyond your usual routine of walking, running or riding a bike.â€
Try some of these calf-boosting tips from the experts at Life Fitness:
Start by standing on the balls of your feet on the edge of a step, your heels should hang off of the step unsupported. Slowly contract your calf muscles and rise up onto your toes. Slowly lower your heels to below the level of the step until you feel a slight stretch in the back of your calves. Repeat 3 sets, 15 times each and gradually increase the repetitions. For more of a challenge, use a machine, such as the Life Fitness Signature Series Calf Extension and gradually increase the resistance.
Jumping causes a natural raise of your toes and in turn works the calve muscles. Grab a jump rope and start with five minutes of jumping, then try a few sets of jump squats â€“ not only will your calves feel it, but your heart will too.
Ballerinas and dancers tend to have shapely legs with strong calves. Barre and other dance-fitness classes are great ways to build your calf muscles. And given the increasing popularity of dance-fitness classes, it should be easy to find at a local gym or dance studio.
â€œThe route to great calves needn't be a difficult one, you simply have to remember to integrate calf exercises into your routine and be sure to stretch following a workout,â€ added O'Brien. â€œA traditional yoga Downward Dog pose is an effective stretch that can help alleviate calf muscle tightness.â€
About Life Fitness
Life Fitness is the global leader in providing fitness equipment. The company manufactures and sells strength and cardiovascular equipment under the brand names of Life Fitness and Hammer Strength and distributes its equipment in more than 120 countries. Headquartered outside Chicago, in Schiller Park, Ill., Life Fitness is a division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC).
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