How To Build Your Calf Muscles
5 key steps to build your calf muscles.
The calf muscles are located on the lower back part of the legs between the knees and heels. They consist of the gastrocnemius which is the upper part and the soleus which is the lower part. The main function of the calf muscles is to lift the heels off the ground which is called "flexion." If you want to build up your calf muscles, you can achieve this by doing several weight training exercises.
Lift your heels. Calf raises are a basic strength building exercise. Stand on the edge of a step or on a calf block and hold heavy dumbbells in your hands. Lift your heels up in the air by contracting your calf muscles. Lower yourself down and so your toes are pointing upward and repeat 12 to 15 times. Do three to four sets.
Use one foot. Stand on the edge of a step or calf block with your right foot. Extend your left leg behind you and bend your knee so your foot is up in the air. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand and perform 12 to 15 calf raises. Switch legs and do three to four sets total. If you need extra balance, hold on to a beam or stationary object with your non-working hand.
Use the seated calf raise machine. Load the machine with heavy weight and sit on the seat with your thighs snugly under the padded support. Your feet should be on the platform with your heels hanging off the back. Lift up on your toes in a fast motion and hold for a second. Lower the weight back down and repeat 12 to 15 times. Do three to four sets.
Grab the heaviest dumbbells you can handle. Farmers walks are an old school exercise used to develop overall strength. To build your calf muscles, grab heavy dumbbells and hold them by your sides. Come up on your tip toes and walk across the gym floor. Walk back to your starting point and repeat going back and forth six times total. Take a rest and repeat four times.
Rope jumping is a cardiovascular exercise that also works your shoulders, abs, upper arms and calf muscles. Do 10 sets of 100 jumps with 30 second rest periods in between. To increase your resistance, use a weighted jump rope.