[Article updated on 10/11/2023]
Even though the calves are the lower part of the legs, large calves can create the illusion that the entire leg is larger and longer. Well-developed calves can also be an asset when it comes to athleticism. You need to have a lot of power in your calves and feet to be able to sprint, jump high, and move quickly. Whether you are interested in aesthetic or tactical aspects, read the rest of my article to find out how to grow calves.
Before reading on
I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.
The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.
A few words about calves and their anatomy
To truly grow calves, you will need to know how they are made. The calf is actually made up of two muscles: the gastrocnemius and the soleus. The soleus is the largest muscle, and it lies just below the gastrocnemius. In the weight room, these two muscles require different approaches. To touch the soleus, you will need to do standing movements. The gastrocnemius, for its part, is fixed above the knee. For example, a leg bending movement will give priority to the gastrocnemius.
The calves thrive over time but lack power. This makes sense, especially since you walk and stand a lot throughout the day. All these specificities mean above all that you must train your calves differently from other parts of the body.
How to grow calves through sport?
Exercise is the key to getting those beautiful calves that turn all heads. I present to you the most effective exercises to grow calves.
Calf flexion-extension while standing
By supporting yourself on different parts of the soles of your feet, you can act differently on your calves. By applying pressure to the inside of the foot, you increase pressure on the inside of the calves. On the contrary, if you put pressure on the outer part of the feet, you increase the pressure on the outer part of the calves.
To do this, stand with your legs straight in an elevated area, so that your heels are off the ground. Grasp something in front of you for support. Lower your heels until you feel your calves fully stretch. Press into the soles of your feet, raising your heels as high as possible. Repeat 10 times, making sure your toes are facing each other.
This exercise is simple, but it has dozens of variations. You can do this with dumbbells or without weights, on a bench or on a mat. I recommend you start at its most basic level.
Standing in front of a mirror with your feet aligned a few inches apart, slowly stand on the balls of your feet, then lower yourself. Once you’ve mastered it without weights, you can add dumbbells. Start with 25 pounds in each hand.
Climbing the stairs
Stair climbing offers a unique way to exercise your calves, which also helps improve leg balance. This exercise is also beneficial for the legs, as it teaches them to control body weight. To do this, find a staircase.
Simply walk up the stairs, never letting your heels touch the ground. The soles of your feet should be the only part of your body that should touch the ground. Use the railing if necessary to stay balanced, but your arms should not support your weight.
Walk up and down the stairs in this way for 60 seconds. Perform 5 repetitions, resting 30 seconds between rounds.
Calf flexion-extension while seated
The development of the soleus is important for having large calves. To do this, you’ll need to do the move you see most guys do at the gym.
No movement works as much on the soleus as raising the calf while seated. Step into the calf press and sit with the soles of your feet on the elevated surface.
Leave your heels as low as possible to feel a full stretch in the back of your lower leg. With the weight resting on top of your knee, press against the floor until your heels are as far away from the floor as possible. Pause at the top for a second, then very slowly return to your starting position.
How to grow calves through nutrition?
Eating well goes beyond weight management. You need to take the right balance of nutrients, vitamins and minerals to keep all your body systems functioning properly and to keep your bones and muscles strong and healthy. This is especially true if you want to bulk up your calves.
Strength training workouts at the gym are great for building your calves, but your muscles also need good nutrition or it won’t matter much what you do in the gym. SO how to gain weight quickly calves? You especially need protein. The top five sources of protein include:
- lean meats,
- Greek yogurt,
- and nut butter.
Are there products, medications or creams to enlarge calves?
Yes, there are products to help you get the calves you’ve always dreamed of. They certainly won’t replace exercise and nutrition, but used together, they will give you a serious boost. The calves, as highlighted above, are made up of muscles. By using muscle growth products, you are guaranteed to grow calves.
Whey takes the crown because it digests quickly and gets to your muscles quickly to start building them. Whey also contains peptides that increase blood flow to the muscles.
Casein is another great product because it prevents catabolism while you sleep. Casein also makes you feel less full, making it a great snack for those who want to pack on muscle mass.
Creatine is also used by those who want to bulk up their calves. It works in several ways. On the one hand, it quickly increases the amount of energy needed to perform repetitions in the gym.
The more this rapid energy is available, the more repetitions you can do with a given weight, allowing you to develop your calves. Creatine also draws more water into your muscle cells, which increases calf growth in the long term.
Now you know how to grow calves! To go further, consult the other articles of this file on weight gain.