Top 5 Exercises For Increasing Calf Mass
So you want bigger, stronger calves, huh? Finding it harder to accomplish than you thought? Well have no fear -
even professional bodybuilders remark that they find their calf muscles to be the toughest muscle to build.
Luckily, this article contains everything you need to know about calf exercises. I will discuss the top 5
exercises for the calves, how to perform them, and things you should think about when adding them to your
Perhaps the greatest exercise for developing your calves is the barbell squat. The squat is considered the “king” of the
compound exercises because it works so many different muscles at once.
Although this exercise doesn’t directly target your calves, it can certainly build strength and muscle mass in
that area. After you perfect the traditional barbell squat, try squatting on a bosu ball, weight plate or just vary
your stance. I can guarantee you will feel this exercise in your calves after you’re done!
To target your calves exclusively, the standing calf raise is the best exercise. Standing calf raises can be
done with dumbbells, a barbell, bodyweight, or machine. With so many ways to add resistance, there is no way you’ll
For maximum effectiveness, try working in large rep ranges and small rep ranges. Your calves are very resilient
and need to be challenged each workout. During your first workout, do 15-20 reps each set. Next workout, increase
the weight and do 5-8 reps per set.
The seated calf raise is a great way to take the rest of your body out of the equation during the movement.
While you may not be able to lift as much, this ensures that you calves are doing all the work.
As with the standing calf raises, switch up the rep ranges that you work in. Muscle confusion will increase the
size of your calves dramatically. It should be noted that during all of these exercises it is beneficial to really
contract the calves during each rep. Focus on building that mind-muscle connection for the best results!
Most exercises that work your legs will in turn, work your calves. The leg press is a great exercise for you
calves because it places a large load on them. Forcing your calves to lift more than they normally would is the key
to building their mass.
To really target your calves during the leg press, place you toes on the edge of the foot plate and don’t
release the safety bar. Slowly move the weight up as if you were doing a standing calf raise. Challenge yourself by
adding more and more weight each set!
If your gym has a hack squat you better be getting some use out of it! The hack squat is a great exercise
because it places the load farther back than it would be during a normal squat and allows you to have more control
over the weight. This makes it ideal for calf building.
Use this machine the same way you perform a standing calf raise – you will surely feel the burn! Keep these five
exercises in mind the next time you’re looking to shake up your legs workout routine!