Wednesday, June 27, 2012

5 Workouts for Big Calves

Looking for big calves?  I was in that situation a while back, I had chicken legs.  I never had an issue getting a big upper body but it seemed like my leg workouts did nothing to help me with my calves.  I was embarrassed to wear shorts in public because of my twig legs.  I looked so disproportionate and it didn't help when others poked fun at my legs.  I decided there has to be something more I can do about this.

When any part of my body is lagging behind I go to war with my body and attack that muscle group aggressively.  I like to call this priority training, targeting an area of the body with several workouts.  I will work that area out 3 times a week specifically to get the results I want to see.  I did that with my calves for a couple months and finally saw much better results.  I now have legs that don't look like twigs and I feel great in shorts!  To see results in these exercises we need to keep increasing the weight each week to see real results.

1. Calf Press
We can perform the calf press on the leg press machine.  We want to keep our legs stationary without locking the knees, then using only our toes and the balls of our feet to extend the platform out.  You can see a demonstration in the video below. 3 Sets, 8-10 Reps

2. Standing Calf Press
Depending on what equipment you have available at your gym you can use either the calf raise machine or the smith machine.  If using the smith machine put a 35 lb plate on the ground to stand on the edge with your toes so you can get further range of motion.  On each set place your feet at a different angle so you can target different muscles, different positions are straight forward, toes pointed inward, toes pointed outward. 3 Sets, 8-10 reps.

3. Barbell Seated Calf Raises
Seated calf raises range of motion helps target other muscles that regular calf raises miss.  Again we will be using a 35 lb plate and use that to in front of a weight bench. 3 Sets, 8-10 reps.

4. Running Stairs
Running up stairs can make calves explode!  The best place to run is at a football stadium, check out your local college or high school for stadium stairs you can use.  If that isn't applicable you can use any other flight of stairs you can find.

5. Walking Uphill
If you have knee problems or other issues running then walking up steep inclines are great for building calves.  Find a very steep hill or residential area with big hills to walk in.

Don't Forget Nutrition
If you are not increasing your calorie and protein intake none of this will matter.  Sure you will see some gains in muscle and strength but you will not get the results you desire without proper nutrition to feed your muscles.  The biggest key is increasing your protein intake and keeping it above your current lean body mass.


  1. Wooaahh!! What's up with those calves! I'm never gonna have those...I'm gonna ask my fitness trainer to NOT give me calve exercises!

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  5. Having chicken legs myself, I know the struggle involved. I also will target specific muscles that need to catch up a bit, but the calves have been a lifelong battle. The more postings like this give the rest of us hope!

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  7. Extremely information! I have already been trying to find something such as this for some time now. Thanks!

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  8. What about cycling? I ride my mountain bike every day and I have noticed an improvement on my calves.

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