No matter if you want powerful calf muscles because they make you look strong and athletic, or if you want them because you want to improve your sports performance and your vertical leap, you can add size and strength to your calves simply by making it a priority.
These calf exercises are guaranteed to turn your bird legs into oak trees in no time flat!
Calf raises are the classic exercise for the lower leg. They build the gastrocnemius — which is that lump of muscle just below the back of your knee — and help with your sports performance too.
To do a set of calf raises, simply hold a weight and rise up on your tip-toe. You’ll feel your calf contracting as you hold the position for a second or two.
To add some intensity, stand with your heel hanging off a step, then allow yourself to sink down as far as you can comfortably go. This will increase the range of motion and make your calf raises even more effective. Be sure not to over-stretch your lower leg.
Seated Calf Raises
While regular, standing calf raises are great for bulking up the gastrocnemius, they don’t do very much for the soleus muscle lower down on the back of the lower leg. To work this muscle, do some seated calf raises.
While in a chair, put a weight on your thigh, then lift your heel off the floor. You should be able to feel your lower leg working as you perform your reps.
This exercise is easier at a gym which is equipped with a seated calf machine, but you can still get a good workout at home with nothing more than a chair and some weight.