Not all gym-goers can boast of good calves. Someone blames genetics and someone just doesn’t pay attention to this muscle group. However, developed calf muscles will help you with basic exercises such as squats and deadlifts. Therefore, pumped calves are necessary not only to achieve a proportionally developed physique, but also to achieve better results in large bodybuilding exercises.
Possible reasons for poor calf development:
- You do little calf exercise;
- You do too many calf exercises;
- You do bad exercises.
Those lucky with genetics lottery may not need separate calf exercises. They are included in the work of all exercises for the legs, and this load can be enough. Everyone else needs to do additional calf exercises at the end of the leg workout.
Seated calf raises
Seated calf raises work the soleus muscle the best.
How to do:
- Fix the knees with the simulator pillows (not the hips!)
- Place your socks on the platform from below (feet shoulder width apart);
- Stand on your tiptoes, do not spread your knees;
- Raise your knees as high as you can and squeeze your calves as much as you can.
If the gym doesn’t have a special seated calf raise simulator, use free weights and a footrest (step). Sit on a bench and place the barbell on your knees, holding the weight with your hands on top. To avoid pain from the bar, you can wrap it in a towel and then put it on your lap.
Standing calf raises
Standing calves better train the calf muscles
How to do:
- Stand with your toes on the bottom block of the simulator, feet shoulder-width apart;
- Rest your shoulders on the top pillows of the simulator;
- Stand on your tiptoes as high as you can, feeling your calves compress at the highest point.
- when descending, the heel falls below the toes, the calf is fully extended;
- Do not perform the exercise indolently, ascend and descend in a controlled manner.
The exercise is performed on the leg press.
How to do:
- Lie on the simulator, place your socks on the bottom edge of the platform, feet shoulder width apart;
- The angle at the hips should be 90 degrees;
- Push the simulator platform up with your toes;
- Try to make the range of motion as high as possible (push the platform as high as possible), if that doesn’t work reduce the working weight.
Single leg calf raises
Very often, exercises performed alternately on each leg can produce better results than exercises performed on both legs.
How to do:
- Start the exercise with the “weak” leg (for right-handers – the left);
- Stand on the support with the tip of the working foot;
- To make it more difficult, take a dumbbell in your hand (on the left, if the working leg is on the left) – but for beginners it is better to do the exercise without additional weight;
- Grasp the accessory with your right hand;
- Go up and down, after performing the required number of repetitions, switch legs and perform the same number of repetitions for the other.
How to organize training
To strengthen the leg muscles, you need to train regularly and correctly distribute the load. Overloads when pumping calves are fraught with injuries and sprains, which then make themselves felt for a long time. Therefore, it is best to start building calf muscles in a sports club under the guidance of an experienced trainer.