Growing your calf muscles can be difficult for many people but with the right exercises and diet it can be a lot easier than you think. In many cases even professional bodybuilders will have calves that are underdeveloped because this area of the body can be the hardest to develop fully. Customizing your workout regimen and training schedule to include the top exercises for calves will help you get better results.
Your diet should include natural sources and foods that are dense in calories, nutrients, and protein. Supplements may be helpful if your daily diet is lacking and can help develop your calves more if a lack of nutrients is the cause of little growth in these muscles. Make sure that you get enough protein in a before bed snack so that no muscle catabolism occurs during the night during sleep.
Standing Calf Raises
Standing calf raises are an excellent exercise to build up the calf. Using a machine is the easier of the two methods but a calf block can also be used instead of a machine. Start out with an appropriate weight for your workout routine and the current mass of your calves, and then gradually work up to the maximum weight possible. This helps to target and stretch the calf muscles and will develop them. The Gastrocnemius muscle is the focus of this exercise.
Seated Calf Raises
Seated calf raises target the soleus muscle of the calf, and it can be performed with a machine or by using a barbell. The legs should be placed at a ninety degree angle and the heels should be raised up for maximum muscle contraction at the top of the routine.
In order to perform the box jump properly a lot of strength and power is needed from the calf muscles. When this exercise is used then the muscles in this area will respond faster and contract more effectively. This will tone and develop the calf area and help you get the larger size that you are aiming for, even if you have seen few results so far.
Leg Press Or Donkey Calf Raises
Leg press calf raises can be a terrific choice for calf development. This technique is often called the Donkey calf raise and it is a favorite for serious lifters including Arnold Schwarzenegger and many other well known professionals in the industry. This exercise can be performed with a machine or you can just have a buddy get on your back if a machine is not available and you want added weight. Your partner can even hold additional weights in the form of dumbbells to make it extremely effective.
Dumbbell Jump Squats
Adding dumbbell jump squats to your routine will benefit all of the leg muscles and places focus on the calves. This option can add an explosion of power to your training and help you develop well muscled calves that are large and thick. Fast muscle development will be seen and great calves can be built in a short time.
Front Foot Raises
A common mistake is ignoring front foot raises if you want to have fantastic calves that are well developed and incredibly strong. This routine targets the anterior tibialis but it also strengthens and targets both calf muscles as well. This exercise was a favorite of Gunter Schlierkamp and many other well known bodybuilders, and that is because it can work for even the smallest calf muscles.
If you are serious about getting pumped and reaching peak size then you may be avoiding any serious running. If you want calf muscles that are thick and well developed then running can help. Extended distances can cause the calves to work much harder and build up the muscles quickly. It is important to continue with the lifting routines as well in order to maximize growth and mass. Running is cardio so it will help with fat loss but the calories consumed should be replaced in your diet to prevent any muscle breakdown.
Quit Counting Reps
One of the biggest mistakes is to count reps when you are targeting your calf muscles. A better method is to work these muscles until you can not go any further, without risking any injury that could sideline your strength training. Often you workout until you reach a specific number of reps but you may not be pushing your calf muscles hard enough. It is okay to keep track of the reps performed in order to track your progress but never let a number tell you when the workout is finished.
Train Each Muscle Individually
The calf is made up of two main muscles, the gastrocnemius and the soleus. If you are serious about gaining more mass in your calves then try to work out each of these two muscles individually. Rotate, focusing on the gastrocnemius one day and then the soleus the next. This will help each of the muscles in the calf reach their full potential and target them more accurately. When you are not focusing on either of these then concentrate on full body workouts.