Running, walking, trekking and hiking are the adventures that not only thrill your mind but your body too. But the muscle that bears the most is our lower legs. Tight and strong calves help with your performance level. But it would be the real struggle for those with bulky and fatty calves. Bigger than the average is the extra amount that will only backfire on your mobility.
For women and even men also, having bigger and tight calves is a trait of physical attraction. Having big calves is all about pride and love. But bigger than the normal is sometimes hated by ourselves. If you are one of those with bigger muscles, there are reasons you should look into before you start the real calf exercise. There is more reason why some people have bigger calves than normal.
What causes big calves?
Genetics defines the shape of your body. Like it determined your height, it is also responsible for up to 90% of calves. This genetic cause is a direct correlation as to why it is difficult to change the calves’ shape. Your family members appear to have the same leg shape if you haven’t done much exercise. You still have the power to extend or sink them with exercise that needs a lot of effort.
Weight is the common cause of big calves. You may have bigger calves because of fat storage. Usually, if you have too much fat which as a result will get you bigger calves. The case with obesity is a large amount of loose fat in the area.
Ronnie Coleman, the man with the biggest calves. Bodybuilding is about specific workouts for each muscle, so if you are doing an intense leg workout like Ronnie Coleman especially one that engages calves more, you are likely to get bigger calves.
Your eating and living habits are your lifestyle. The size of one’s calf muscles is an indicator of muscle mass throughout the entire body. When you indulge yourself in sodium heavy meals, the fluid from arteries, veins, and capillaries is sent it tissue which gets buildup in your legs. This ends up being the cause of big calves.
How Big should your Calves be?
There are no specific methods to calculate the best size for your calves. Because calves size depends on your height, body weight, foot size. There is a lot of variation within each group, you can generally assume calf size increases as each of those variables also increases. So getting the real value is difficult.
We can only get the range to which an average human calf size can vary. This range is calculated by taking parameters of the foot size and height.
Calf Circumference range= 12″-20″
Without exercise, you are more likely to fall in the lower range, and by working out on your leg legs you might increase your inches.
How to get big calves
The big calves for the ones with skinny legs and for those with bigger and bigger to settle to just big needs the full workout. Your calves are like your biceps and even more than that because these muscles are the body-balancing muscles.
It is also true, calves are very hard to build. What makes them so different from other muscles, is because these muscles have been working and developing on their own since we started walking and running. The fact is you have to target the calf muscles with a different set of approaches.
Since the most repeated activity is walking, to get the best results, stimulate with different exercises than walking. Try some weight lifting raises, slow eccentrics, and include variations. Here is some exercise you can follow to shape your lower body muscles.
Exercises to do to get big calves
Standing calf raises
One of the most basic moves for a calf building is the standing calf raise. This is the beginner-level workout that effectively targets the core muscles of the leg.
- Hand at the side stand straight on your feet.
- Now raise both the heels and contract the calves.
- Now return to the ground.
Add a variation to this exercise, by a mix of a barbell.
Stand straight and hold a barbell on your upper back and repeat the above steps.
Reps: 10-15 reps
Seated calf raises with dumbbells
This exercise is resistance training. You put weight on your thighs and push the legs off the ground. It is one of the best calves workouts.
- Sit on a bench with your ur feet flat on the ground.
- Get two heavy dumbbells on your thighs.
- Now lift both the heels off the ground and stretch the calves.
- Return slowly to the ground and repeat the same
Add a variation by elevating the feet a block.
Farmer’s walk is an overall exercise for strength, balance, and calf muscle. Holding weight forces your core muscles to actively work.
- Pick a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells in your hand.
- Get on your toes and take short steps forward.
- Try to walk as far as you can.
Jumping rope is the most popular calves exercise. With no equipment, you can perform this exercise at your home at any time.
Get a rope and swing and jump off the ground by touching your feet with the rope.
Band assisted calf flex
The band is resistance and essential exercise equipment that increases the intensity of any workout. Here’s how to use it for building bigger calves:
- Sit on the ground with your legs straight.
- Hold one end of the looped band around your feet and the other end in your hands.
- Bend your ankles pushing against the band.
- Engage your calves and push with full strength.
- Relax and repeat.
Plan your Glute workout: Band Hip Thrust Workout for Stronger Glutes
Running especially uphill running is an excellent calf-strengthening exercise. The steeper the climb, the more your calves have to work.
You may want to read: How to Get Rid of Sore Calves From Running
How long does it take to grow big calves?
It is very much true that calves’ development is genetics. But these won’t grow big unless you work over them with the utmost priority.
This means you have to work out first on your legs and that too twice a week. The more time you work on your leg days, the better and quicker the results will be. Focus in the equal amount on standing variations that target gastrocnemius muscle and seated variations for the soleus muscle.
In a one-month of continuous leg exercise program, you will see differences in your legs.
This includes slightly better stamina and a little muscular definition.
However, the results are more likely to appear in two to three months, but to get the big gains you have to give 4 months consistent leg workout with a gradual increase in intensity.
After this high resistance training program for 4 months, you can actually tell you improvements in strength and stamina.
Tip: The more amount of variation you have in your calf workouts, the more you will train your calves from all angles.