You’d like to have big calves? Here is all the information you need
Men often neglect to do exercises for their calves which can lead to body asymmetries. We see guys at the gym with a huge chest and broad shoulders or big thighs, however, their calves often seem like they don’t belong to their bodies. You either hide your calves in a tracksuit, or you get inspired by our tips on how to grow your calf muscles and show them off this summer in men’s fitness shorts from NEBBIA.
Anatomy and genetics
The calf muscle or triceps suraemuscle consists of two muscles. The bigger of the two is called Gastrocnemius. It’s a two-headed muscle composed of lateral and medial heads. The second and smaller one is called soleus, and it’s located right below. The main function of these muscles is to induce flexion of the ankle complex. Calf muscle works constantly when we run, walk, jump, or basically do any motion involving getting your feet off the ground.
- Is your goal muscle growth? Read The Basics of Weightlifting according to the golden era of bodybuilding
Genetics play a major role in the length of our tendons and the size of the muscle. An important factor is the ratio between fast-twitch muscle fibers and slow-twitch muscle fibers. Studies show that the smaller muscle contains between 70 % to 90 % of slow-twitch muscle fibers, whereas the two-headed calf muscle has only between 45 % to 70 %. High ratio of slow-twitch muscle fibers causes reduction in potential growth by half if compared to a higher ratio of fast-twitch muscles. The specific ratio of fibers is genetic, which means that if you have more of the fast-twitch ones than the average, it’s enough to squat regularly and your calves will get massive. Others are forced to dedicate more of their time to calf exercises.
Your calves regenerate quite fast which means you can exercise them relatively often. If your calves are lagging in training, you should incorporate calf exercises into your routine two to three times a week. Since these muscles mostly are mostly made of slow-twitch muscle fibers, they need to stay activated longer to effectively stimulate growth. It’s recommended to do more repetitions in one series, between 15 to 30.
- A tip from us: Divide the following four exercises in two pairs. Workout every pair twice a week. This way you’ll stimulate muscle growth twice in a week! Do four series and twenty repetitions for every exercise.
4 effective exercises for calves
- Standing calf raises using a machine
- Seated calf raises using a machine
- Seated calf raises using leg press
- Jumping rope
After a workout, don’t forget about stretching and regeneration. Another important aspect is a well-balanced diet, you can’t do without it. The key to success hides in consistency and patience, if you keep up with these rules, you can make it. Start off your progress with us! If you want to get more fitness tips, follow us on Instagram! You can find men's shorts from NEBBIA and other fitness clothing HERE.