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Build Bigger Calf Muscles

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If your lower legs are skinny with little muscular definition, there is hope! With some hard work, you can grow the muscles of your calves and make them proportional to your upper legs.

The calves are composed of two major muscles, the gastrocnemius and soleus.

The gastrocnemius is visible from the outside of the body. When both heads (medial and lateral) of the gastrocnemius are fully developed, they form a diamond shape. The soleus is not visible and lies underneath the gastrocnemius. The soleus is activated most when doing exercises where your knee is bent (like seated calf raises).

Build and shape your calf muscles with a weight training circuit. A calf circuit workout will build and shape your calf muscles like never before.

Some people, because of genetics, have bigger calves than others and they don't have to do any extra work to make them look great. Other people have very small calf muscles and want them to look more proportionate to their thighs.

Here is the circuit (alternate between heavy weight repetition days and full speed light repetition days):

--Donkey calf raises, 25 repetitions
--Standing dumbbell calf raises, 25 repetitions
--Toe lifts on leg press machine, 25 repetitions
--Standing calf raises on Smith Machine, 25 repetitions
--Seated calf raises, 25 repetitions

Do this circuit 3 times. You can do this workout up to 2 times a week (separate from your regular weight training workout).

One good exercise to include in your regular weight training workout is the barbell calf raise using a jumping motion (explode upward on your toes as if you are jumping). Do 3 sets of 20 repetitions. You should progress to one-legged raises.

Also, jumping rope as much as possible will tone your calf muscles.

There are two great benefits to building stronger, bigger and more powerful calf muscles: you will improve your running speed and jumping height! Explosive dumbbell calf raises will improve your speed and power. The lower legs can provide 20% to 25% of the power needed for explosive starts and jumps. This may not mean much to you if you don’t play a sport like volleyball or basketball.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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