Most of the people who hit the gym worry about muscle groups such as arms, chest, and abs. Most of the other muscle groups are often ignored and only top bodybuilders even take the time to develop them. Unless you are genetically gifted in these muscle groups, you either work your butt off and get no return, or you just say “screw it.”
The muscle group that probably places last on most people’s list are calves. Even the bodybuilders who compete at Mr. Olympia have small calves. Calves are difficult to build than the other muscles as you have to work on them at least three to four times a week if you want to have a great set.
It gets difficult to walk the next day after working them out so you can guess why most of the gym-goers have small calves. If there is any muscle which tops the gym memes, it definitely is the calves.
Calves are made up of these three muscles. The first one is the gastrocnemius, the second one is the soleus and the third one is a very small muscle called the tibialis anterior.
Well, you guys don’t need to worry, we got you. Here we provide you with three exercises that are literally the best if you want to build big and shredded calves:
3 Best Exercises For Building Calves
1. Standing Calf Raises
One of the first exercises that come to mind when we hear the word calves, the standing calf raise. These are actually a wonderful exercise for the gastrocnemius. The weights you perform with don’t need to be too heavy but take such a weight that you are able to squeeze out 15-20 reps easily and with great form.
Note: Your form has to be correct because that is one of the reasons your calves won’t grow. So basically, the correct way is when you give full compression and full stretch to the muscle which means that you just don’t have to move up but also go down once you come to the horizontal level.
2. Leg Press Calf Raises
One of the first exercises for the calf that was very famous in the Golden Era of bodybuilding was the ‘Donkey Calf Raises’ and it was Arnold’s favorite when it came to building calves. The major problem with this exercise is that you actually need a person to sit on your back while you perform the exercise.
There is actually a machine much similar to donkey calf raises but it’s not around in most of the gyms. One variation that is very much similar to donkey calf raise is the leg press calf raises. Here, the position is almost the same as that of leg press.
The difference is just that rather than keeping your feet on the pad, keep them at the bottom in such a way such that only the toes are touching the pad. Push from toes to compress the muscle and after coming to level, bring your toes backward to extend the muscle.
3. Seated Calf Raises
Seated calf raises might look the same as standing calf raises but they are actually not; both exercises actually engage different muscles. While the standing version hits the gastrocnemius, the seated version engages the soleus.
When the angle around the knee is around 90-degrees, the soleus gets engaged whereas when the leg is straight, gastrocnemius is affected more.
Wrapping It Up
Here are three exercises that you probably aren’t doing for your calves. Sticking to proper form, using the correct weight, and giving them enough volume and intensity is key.
Anyone can grow calves if you put quality work into them. Now that you know how your calves work, get to growing.