How To Get Big Calves – Ultimate Guide 2022
Some people spend the majority of their life with smaller calves, while others are born with large, attractive calves. Genetics definitely plays a part in how your calves appear but that doesn’t mean it is the end of the world and you can’t work to get big calves. The calves are one of the body’s muscles that are most resistant to growth, which is frustrating for many. Consider the fact that your calf muscles are used every time you even take a step since they must carry your entire body weight throughout the day. To sufficiently stimulate the calves and to get big calves, you must push them really hard.
In this article we will discuss:
– How To Get Big Calves
– How do I make my calves bigger?
– What Should I Eat To Get Bigger Calves?
– Best Exercises To Grow Bigger Calves
To get big calves let’s start with a better understanding of the anatomy of the calves. Two muscles make up the calves, also referred to as the triceps surae, the soleus and the gastrocnemius. The soleus serves a crucial function in standing; without its continual pull, the body would fall forwards. It extends from right below the knee to your heel/achilles tendon.
The muscle that is closest to the skin is the gastrocnemius. It attaches just above the knee at the base of the femur. The lower end of the gastrocnemius connects with the soleus at the achilles tendon. This is the muscle most people associate with the calves or recognize when looking at the calves.
How To Get Big Calves – A Complete Guide
Slow-twitch muscle fibers, which are often better suited for endurance activity, make up the majority of the muscles in your calves. They excel in longevity but lack strength. That makes sense, particularly given how frequently you stand and move during the day.
Your calves serve as your support system. All of this suggests that you should train your calves differently than you would other body regions if you want to get big calves. They essentially deal with high repetitions during the course of your day. Unlike your chest, you may train them more often. Your chest isn’t designed to carry heavy weight every day but your calves keep you standing seven days a week.
Here are a few things you can do daily or during your workout to increase the engagement of your calves and to get big calves.
1. Do 50 slow calf raises with your body weight before you go to bed along with your regular gym/workout routine. Go slow and make sure to squeeze at the top of each rep.
2. Try to walk on your toes when possible to get additional engagement in your calves.
3. When walking up some stairs perform single leg calve raises as you take each step.
4. On your lower body workout days or at least twice a week, whichever is more frequent, try to add two calves workouts. One will use heavier weights with lower reps (4-6) and the other will use lighter weights with higher reps (20-25). This will target both key muscle groups.
5. Do your calve training barefoot or with barefoot shoes as this will increase your range of motion. This is something Arnold Schwarzenegger did.
6. Adding daily jump roping can also be a great addition to your workout that would train calves while introducing some cardio.
Best Exercises To Increase Calf Size
Here are some of the best calve exercises to get big calves:
Standing Calf Raises
Because your calf muscles support such a large portion of your body weight, even bodyweight calf workouts are an efficient approach to building calves. As a straight-knee exercise, this one primarily targets the soleus muscle.
There are a few variants to this work where you could add weights and/or increase the range of motion such as:
-Dumbbell calf raises
-Kettlebell calf raises
-Elevated calf raises
If you would like to increase the intensity of these workouts you could introduce single-leg variants. Single leg variants are more demanding as well as incorporate balance into the workout.
Seated Calf Raises
Because you perform the seated calf raise while sitting with your knees bent, it is one of the greatest calf exercises for recruiting the Gastrocnemius. This exercise is easiest performs with a seated calf raise machine but if your gym does not provide such machines you can use dumbbells instead.
Find a solid chair and a couple of dumbbells, after you do so take a seat and place the dumbbells on your knees and slowly raise your calves to perform the seated calf raises. Similar to standing calf raises you could do elevated calf raises to increase your range of motion and increase the engagement of your calves.
Leg Press Calf Raises
If you would like to use heavier weights for lower rep calf workouts I recommend leg press calf workouts. By using the leg press machine you can safely add heavy weights and perform calf raises without strain on other parts of your body.
To perform this workout place your feet shoulder-width apart with your heels off the edge, by doing so you should be able to perform the workout using your full range of motion.
Box Jumps (plyometric exercises)
Plyometric exercises are good for increasing calf size, form, strength, and power since the calf muscles are frequently engaged during jumps. Additionally, plyometric exercises work your hips, glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings. A common and efficient plyometric activity is the box jump.
Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, face the box. Squat down and jump onto the box while keeping your knees behind your toes. Pick a height that is difficult yet enables you to complete around eight reps in a row. Allow both feet to land on the box at the same time.
What Should I Eat To Get Bigger Calves?
You need to eat a diet high in protein if you want to increase the growth of your muscles in any part of your body. Protein aids in the growth and development of muscles. Include lean proteins like fish, beans, and chicken in your diet if you want to get big calves. Additionally, include a lot of fruits and veggies, carbs, dairy, and whole grains in your diet while minimizing the intake of processed food. After working out, eat 25 grams of protein right away.