How To Build Calf Muscle? Here Are The 18 Best Exercises To Bulk Up Your Calf Muscles

how to build calf muscle

Mai Delacruz

Mai Delacruz
Personal Fitness Trainer & Health Coach

Updated on 12/7/2022

The thought of standing straight up like a tree trunk may not appeal to you. Still, suppose you want more solid muscle mass, especially in those hard-to-build calves. In that case, you need targeted calf exercises and simply hammering your lower body in colossal leg-day workouts.
Especially when it comes to calves, they can be adamant. There are plenty of lifters out there who complain that they do not possess the right genetics to be able to build big calf muscles. So how to build calf muscle? The good news is that these stubborn muscles can grow if you approach your workouts correctly.

Do This EVERY Day for Bigger Calves! (ONE MOVE)

I want to begin by explaining the anatomy of the calf. There are two main muscles in the calf. Generally, the gastrocnemius is a lower leg muscle that sits just under the skin and makes up the bulk of the calf; the soleus, meanwhile, is a comprehensive, flat muscle that begins below your knee and runs down your lower leg, connecting to the Achilles tendon above the heel. You can walk, run, and jump using these knee and ankle joints because they combine the knee and ankle joints with helping with knee flexion and extension.

Calf Muscles

 

If you want to add some definition to your skinny legs, we've compiled a list of a few of the best calf exercises for building muscle (think single-leg calf raises) that you can do to build up your calf muscles. You might want to try them out as part of your next leg day workout, making sure you move methodically with the proper range of motion to stimulate the muscles during your training. You should include more explosive cardio exercises like sprints and jumping rope for more robust and muscular calves. Micro tears will be created in the muscle fiber that will cause the body to send blood and nutrients to the cells in need, making those cells grow bigger and stronger as a result of the micro tears.

1. The Jumping Jack

The Jumping Jack

Here Is How You Can Do It:

  1. Make sure your feet are together, and your arms are at your sides as you stand.
  2. As you clap your hands overhead, jump and spread your legs outside shoulder width as you spread your legs outside shoulder width.
  3. Return your hands and feet to the starting position as soon as you have jumped.

2. Raise Your Calf While Seated (Toes Out)

Raise Your Calf While Seated (Toes Out)

Here Is How You Can Do It:

  1. Using a seated calf raise machine, you can sit on a bench and rest the balls of your feet on a block or step (and hold dumbbells on your thighs for resistance).
  2. It is recommended that your knees be bent 90 degrees and your toes turn out about 15 degrees.
  3. It would help if you allowed your heels to drift toward the floor until you felt a stretch in your calves due to the movement.
  4. It is now time to drive the balls of your feet into the platform and raise your heels as high as possible by pushing them into the venue.

3. The seal jumps

The seal jumps

Here is how you can do it:

  1. Perform jumping jacks, but extend your arms to your sides as you jump your feet out.
  2. After you have jumped back, you should clap your hands together in front of your body.

4. Raise The Calf From A Seated Position (Neutral Toes)

Raise The Calf From A Seated Position (Neutral Toes)

Here Is How You Can Do It:

  1. You can either use a seated calf raise machine or sit on a bench and rest the balls of your feet on a block or step (while holding dumbbells on your thighs for resistance).
  2. Your knees should be bent 90 degrees, your toes should be pointing straight forward, and your toes should be pointing straight forward.
  3. As your heels drift toward the floor, allow your calves to stretch until you can feel a stretch in your calves.
  4. In the next step, you need to drive the balls of your feet into the platform and raise your heels as high as possible. 

5. The Seated Calf Raise (Toes In)

The Seated Calf Raise (Toes In)

Here is how you can do it:

  1. Using a seated calf raise machine, you can sit on a bench and rest the balls of your feet on a block or step (and hold dumbbells on your thighs for resistance).
  2. There should be a 90-degree bend in your knees, and your toes should be turned 15 degrees inward when performing this exercise.
  3. To stretch your calves, allow your heels to drift toward the floor until you feel a stretch in your calves.
  4. You should drive the balls of your feet into the platform and raise your heels as high as possible.

6. Mobilization Of The Ankles

Mobilization Of The Ankles

Here Is How You Can Do It:

  1. Ensure your toes are elevated above your heels by placing them on a mat or block.
  2. To feel a stretch in the calf of your leg, bend one knee and push it forward.
  3. You must draw your leg back, repeat this for several reps, and switch legs.

7. Calf Raise With A Single Leg

Calf raise with a single leg

Here Is How You Can Do It:

  1. Place one leg on a block or step and rest your weight on the ball of your foot while standing on one leg.
  2. We must wrap your free foot around the back of the leg that is running.
  3. Allowing your body to sink toward the floor and stretch your calves would be best.
  4. As you lift your heel, hold for one second, and then push the ball of your foot into the surface as you drive your heel down.
  5. We must hold the upper position for two seconds at a time.

8. Raise The Calf Of The Hole

Hole Calf Raise

Here Is How You Can Do It:

  1. Stand on the same elevated surface with your feet shoulder-width apart, and your toes pointed out. You first need to lower yourself into the bottom position of a squat (referred to as "the hole").
  2. Calf raise is a kind of exercise that is performed by lifting your feet as high as you can on the balls of your feet without extending your hips or legs during the training. 

9. Walk On Tiptoes

Walk on your tiptoes while standing on your tiptoes

Here Is How You Can Do It:

  1. Walk on your tiptoes while standing on your tiptoes.
  2. Your heels mustn't touch the ground at any time during your walk.
  3. I suggest doing these exercises barefoot if you can do so for greater muscle activation.

10. Raise Your Calf By Jumping

Raise Your Calf By Jumping

Here Is How You Can Do It:

  1. Standing tall with your feet flat on the floor, jump using only the calves of your legs.
  2. By dropping into a half squat, you can absorb the impact of the landing.
  3. Make sure you land quietly.

11. The Standing Calf Raise

The Standing Calf Raise

Here Is How You Can Do It:

  1. Alternatively, you can stand on a block or step while holding a dumbbell in one hand while holding on to something for support with the other hand while using a standing calf raise machine or standing on a block or step.
  2. You feel a stretch in your calves as you lower your heels toward the floor.
  3. To raise your heels as high as possible, drive the balls of your feet into the footplate and contract your calves simultaneously. Each time you perform a rep, make sure you control the descent

12. A Machine For Seated Calf Raises

A Machine For Seated Calf Raises

Here Is How You Can Do It:

  1. You can either use a seated calf raise machine or sit on a bench and rest the balls of your feet on a block or step (and hold dumbbells on your thighs for resistance while doing this).
  2. As described above, perform a calf raise, but bend your hips and knees 90 degrees at the hips and knees as you do this exercise.

13. The Lateral Lunge To The Curtsy

The Lateral Lunge To The Curtsy

Here Is How You Can Do It:

  1. If you do not wish to use weights, you may stand holding a plate or dumbbell.
  2. As you step your right foot out to the side, you hinge your hips back and come into a lateral lunge; place your left foot on the ground.
  3. Once you push off this foot and rise to standing, immediately bring your right leg into a curtsy lunge, drawing it behind your lunge.
  4. Legs are alternated.

14. Ladder Of Agility

Ladder Of Agility

Here Is How You Can Do It:

  1. You will be standing at one end of an agility ladder that has been laid flat on the floor.
  2. There are several things you can do if you don't have an agility ladder, such as drawing lines on the floor with tape or chalk if you don't have one.
  3. You must run (or hop) from one end of the agility ladder to the other as fast as possible.
  4. That's one rep done.

15. The Bosu Ball Squat

The Bosu Ball Squat

Here Is How You Can Do It:

  1. Place a Bosu dome-side down on the table.
  2. Stand carefully on the ball and make sure you are in a good balance.
  3. Under control, slowly lower yourself into a squat position. 

16. Running A Sprint

Running A Sprint

Here Is How You Can Do It:

  1. Finding a track where you can sprint repeats of 55, 100, or 200 meters would be beneficial.
  2. Keep your focus on hitting top speed, and keep yourself moving forward by staying on your toes throughout the race.
  3. It is also possible to work on a straight, flat stretch of road and estimate those distances as mentioned above by time if you know your split times.
  4. Sprinting requires a lot of fast-twitch muscle fibers. It stimulates protein synthesis and increases the production of human growth hormone (HGH), which allows your muscles to grow.

17. The Stairmaster

The Stairmaster

There Are Several Reasons Why It Is On This List:

The StairMaster works the entire back of your legs, and while it might not seem like the most fun workout, it is an excellent way to develop more muscular calves since it works the entire back of your legs simultaneously.

18. It's A Farmer's Walk

It's A Farmer's Walk

Here Is How You Can Do It:

  1. Hold a weight in each hand as you stand tall.
  2. The chest should remain as long as possible, You should pull the shoulder blades back, and the weights should not rest on the thighs.
  3. You should walk forward, but instead of choppy heels-to-toe steps, you should walk on your toes to engage your calves more actively.
  4. Ensure that your head is facing forward and that your posture is always rigid.

By keeping on with the previous exercises, you will answer your question about how to build calf muscle.


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