How to get Bigger Calves at Home | Home workouts for Bigger Calves
Calves are one of the most stubborn muscles in terms of showing growth. Well at least for me, they were the most difficult group of muscles to work on. I had to work on my calves three times a week for about two months before I could see some development in hypertrophy. So, for this article ill share with you a list of home workouts that will help you with getting rid of those chicken legs. Now there are a lot of factors that can affect the growth of your calves which may be, genetics, frequency of training, incorrect form or lack of nutrition. All of these topics are covered in the following article so that you can see quick and effective results on your calves.
Let’s first go through a list of things you may be doing wrong or which you are supposed to do and aren’t doing. Acknowledging the mistakes before-hand will give you a fresh new mindset to adapt to the new tips on how to get bigger calves at home mentioned in the article.
1. Lack of nutrition:
A lot of people ignore the most important aspect of weight training that helps the body to recover from the stress caused by it. Having a proper diet throughout the day is way more important than hitting the gym and lifting a couple weights. Lifting weights and not having a proper nutritional plan to back it up will ultimately result in reduction of hypertrophy. To avoid this, make sure that every meal you take includes a certain amount of protein. Its quite necessary that the muscles are fed with enough protein and nutrients to help them grow. you can do this by bifurcating the total amount of protein you need in a day into smaller portions that can by consumed with every diet that you take. Also, we have an article about an easy way to add a considerable amount of protein in an easy and tasty way. Visit the following article for more details.
Also trying different sources of protein and new recipes can help a lot with keeping up with your daily protein requirement.
2. Lower ‘training frequency’:
Take into consideration the number of times you train your calves in a week. If its once per week, you aren’t training your calves enough. Calves should be trained at least twice a week for better results but thrice a week would be even better. Just make sure you aren’t overtraining and you’ll be good to go. Training your calves twice or thrice a week will increase the amount of stress on the muscle. The muscles will have to adapt by increasing the hypertrophy. Just keep this in mind-
While this works on every muscle in your body, you probably are more interested in the calves for now. So, let’s go with that.
3. Incorrect form:
Bouncing the weights, incomplete range of motion, and for calves, not balancing the weight on your big toe; all of these count as incorrect form. There’s a specific range of motion to every exercise that is supposed to followed strictly in order to make the most of the exercise. A 1\4 rep or 1\2 rep isn’t going to work the way you would want it to. Hence always make sure to complete the rep you are at. An easy way to do that is, just focus on the rep you are at, do not think about the following rep. Give your 100% at every rep so that you are focused enough to actively keep your form in check. Also, I’ve seen a lot of people bounce the weight and use the momentum to complete a rep. Using the momentum generated by bouncing the weight will dramatically reduce the amount of stress on your muscles. Another important thing to take under consideration is that, while performing exercises that are meant for the calves, it is important that you try and balance the weight on your big toe. That will help with increased muscle activation and will also help in keeping your form in check.
Now that the common mistakes are out of the way, lets get into the list of home workouts that will help you in getting bigger calves.
Home workouts for Bigger Calves-
1. STANDING CALF RAISES :
Standing calf raise is the most basic exercise for the calf muscles that fortunately do not require any special equipment. The name says it all for this exercise. You have to lift/raise your body weight using your calf muscles in the standing position. As this exercise does not demand any special equipment, this becomes one of the best home workouts for bigger calves.
Steps to perform standing calf raises –
- While standing straight push through the ground using your toes. [mainly the big toe]
- Lift up your heel as much as you can.
- Then lower yourself into the starting position.
As easy as it is, standing calf raises, when done appropriately, can show great results.
2. ELEVATED CALF RAISES :
Elevated calf raises are the same as the normal standing calf raises but with a wider range of motion. The heels are more or less suspended in this variation of the standing calf raises. It isn’t as easy as the standing calf raise and requires a good sense of balance. As thee name suggests, elevated calf raises are done at a level that is slightly raised above the normal surface. This can be done in many ways. For example – by doing the exercise on a stair or on a sturdy support like a box. Things like these are easily available in and around the house which makes it easier to perform such exercises. So now let’s take a look at the steps to perform elevated calf raises.
Steps to perform elevated calf raises –
- Stand on an elevated support such as a box or a stair in such a way that your heels are suspended in the air and your weight is balanced on your toes.
- Start from a position where your heels are on a lower plane than the toes.
- Now push through the support using your toe and raise your heels as much as you can.
- Slowly get back into the starting position. [ make sure to not get back into the starting position too quickly as it can cause injuries.]
- Repeat Like the normal calf raises, elevated calf raises can also be done pretty much anywhere. And a small change like using elevation can result in some great hypertrophy.
3. SINGLE LEG CALF RAISES :
Single leg calf raises are meant for you if want a spike in the intensity of the exercises. Every step for the single leg calf raise is the same as the normal calf raise, you just need to assume your starting position on a single leg. Well, that’s pretty easy to understand after reading the name of the exercise. Single leg calf raise is an easy way to progress towards more difficult exercises or a greater number of reps on the less difficult exercises. The only catch is that, you need to hold onto something for support to avoid falling over. Well, you may be able to balance your weight on a single leg, but it doesn’t end there. You need to perform reps while being on a single leg. That’s the reason I would highly recommend you to hold onto something for balance. That way you’ll be able to focus more on the reps and worry less about maintaining your balance.
Steps to perform the single leg calf raise –
- Stand up straight and lift one of your legs off the ground so that your body weight is supported only by one of your legs.
- Now push through the ground using your toe and lift your heel as much as you can.
- Get back into the starting position slowly.
- Perform equal number of reps with both the legs alternatingly.
4. DONKEY CALF RAISES :
Donkey calf raises may seem a bit odd in terms of the form, when compared with other calf exercises. But, it is way more effective than the others on this list. Donkey calves prove to be way more efficient in engaging the calf muscles especially gastroc. You’ll need a few things to perfectly perform the donkey calf raises like, a rigid support that is at your waist level and a step or a plate to keep your feet about 10 inches off the ground. Once you have all this, you are ready to go.
Steps to perform the donkey calf raises –
- Place the step or the plate a few feet away from the support. Stand on the step or the plate facing the support.
- Bend over and hold the support tightly with both hands and place the balls of your feet at the edge of the plate or step.
- Now go down as much as you naturally can. This is the starting position. You should be able to feel the stretch in your calf muscles in this position.
- Now push through the ground and lift your heel as much as you can.
- Now slowly get back into the starting position.
5. OTHER ACTIVITIES :
Activities are like these help in building your calf muscles, slowly but surely. Also cycling and jumping jacks are some cardio vascular exercises that can build muscle. These are casual exercises that almost everyone has done at least once in their lives. It is pretty easy to add one of these exercises in your routine to build those calves.
While, a smaller muscle like the calves are easily targeted using isolation exercises, there are also some compound exercises that help in targeting the calves [not primarily of course]. Compounds like jumping squats and lunges can be a way of targeting the calves. Compound exercises are also better at inducing the release of testosterone in the body and hence enhancing muscle growth.
Find an activity that you find interesting or is easy for you to add to your routine and bring in those extra muscles without even trying that hard.
Now that you know the exercises and activities that build calf muscles you are good to go and try these out for yourself and see the results. But before you do so there are a few things that you need to consider to make the most of the exercises mentioned above. Following is a list of tips to make sure that your experience is worthwhile and not boring.
- As, the exercises mentioned above do not involve any equipment or extra resistance other than your own body weight, make sure to perform a couple extra reps to increase the volume of your workout.
- Most of the exercises mentioned above require a good sense of balance. Hence, make sure to hold onto a rigid support while performing the exercises.
- Make a point to maintain a strategic distance from every one of the potential errors that were referenced in the article to forestall getting harmed. Increase in the number of mistakes will increase the chances of acquiring an injury.
- Finally, acknowledge the fact that you may encounter an injury even after taking all the possible measures. So, talk to your physician before engaging into any activity mentioned in this article.
Gastroc and soleus together compose the total girth of the calves. Also, training the calves can act as an extra support for the Achilles tendon. Having well developed calves can also be beneficial for other sport activities and enhance your overall performance in them. Hence, having well developed calves will help you with providing with your best performance, either on-field or in other day-to-day activities.
Now there’s only one thing left to do, and that is, actually getting in those workouts and start getting rid of those “CHICKEN LEGS”. Work on your calves using the above-mentioned list of home workouts for bigger calves within the optimal frequency that will maximize the potential of your muscles growing.
ALL THE BEST!