Creativity adds a little extra spice to life. We can be creative in almost everything we do. and especially when it comes to our fitness. There are basic moves for nearly every muscle group and with tiny changes here and there, the move is slightly altered and the benefit is reformed.
That is the best way to explain the exercise we have today: creative.
Our move today is a wide squat calf raise. This move can be performed with or without added weight, either hand weights or a weighted bar.
This exercise will be working your whole lower body, focusing on your glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves.
Begin this move by placing your feet in a wide stance. Turn your toes slightly outward, hold your chest tall and engage your abdominals for balance. Lift one heel off the ground by pointing your toe into the floor and placing a slight contraction in the calf. Holding this position, you are ready to start lowering into your squat motion.
Proceed to squat as you normally would, with both feet on the floor. The only difference is one heel is lifted. Your balance may be slightly challenged and this is where the creativity comes in.
Continue with the same heel elevated for at least 10 squats. Release the foot and stand for a quick break then return to your wide stance and switch feet by pointing the other toe into the floor and lifting the heel.
Continue these calf-raised squats for at least 10 repetitions on each side for at least three sets.
This move is great with your own body weight, with hand weights or even a weighted bar on your shoulders. If your balance is restricted, hold a chair back or broom stick for added stability.
Now go get creative with your fitness.

-- Marlo Alleva, an instructor at Gold’s Gym and group fitness coordinator at Fontaine-Gills YMCA in Lakeland, Florida, can be reached at faluvzpa@msn.com.