No bodybuilder wants tiny calf muscles. Even if your upper body and thighs are bulging, small calves can make your legs looks small.
Achieving mammoth calves is no easy task, however, as these muscles are notoriously difficult to pump up. It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Even if genetics haven’t blessed you with spherical lower leg muscles, there’s plenty you can do to pack on the weight in this area.
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Give your calves attention
One of the main reasons that bodybuilders struggle to build calf muscle is that they don’t give it the same amount of consideration as other muscle groups. Often, exercising the calves is regarded as an after-thought, especially for those who don’t like leg day anyway, and its after-effects.
However, if you want to enable growth in your calves, you need to include calf exercises into every workout session. Anything between four to eight sets will be enough to promote growth over time, but this may vary according to how much you already do and what you can tolerate.
Exercises to try
There are lots of different exercises you can try to boost calf muscles, some of which you can even do outside of the gym. The key elements are variety, frequency and intensity.
Aim to do a range of different movements to promote proportionate growth in your calves. It’s also worth noting that calf muscles consist of two different types of muscles that respond differently to various exercises. Therefore, add some exercises into your routine where your legs are bent and kept straight.
Try exercises where you’re seated as well as standing, too, such as standing and seated calf raises, donkey calf raises and the calf press on the leg press machine.
In order to pack power into your calf muscles, increasing the volume of your sets is vital, particularly to activate the slow twitch fibres in this area. Add calf exercises anywhere in your routine, and if you’re not sure where to start, try four sets of 20 reps of calf raises. Build different intensity techniques, such as supersets and drop sets, into your routine.
You don’t need to wrap your calves up in cotton wool; they’re very resilient and recover quickly, so don’t be afraid of challenging them.
Range of motion
Another reason why bodybuilders fail to build calf muscle is that they don’t use the full range of motion during exercises. Always go to the top of each movement, and pause slightly before coming right back down again. Avoid bouncing when a rep hits the bottom as this stops you making the most gains from each movement. Attack calf muscles from all angles, and consider going barefoot when exercising to improve muscle contraction.
Before you start a rep and after you’ve completed it, stretch your calf muscles to encourage growth in this area.
The toes play a crucial role in helping you achieve diamond-shaped calves. Simply pointing your toes in various directions during workouts can exercise different parts of the calf muscle. For example, when doing leg curls, point your toes upwards instead of down to work your hamstrings, but to also give your calf muscles a hit. Walking around on tiptoes can also help to activate these lower leg muscles, especially when climbing the stairs.
These essential tips can let you achieve your body goals. But, if you require extra assistance, why not see how Strength & Steroids can help, with its exclusive range of quality products?