Add Shape to Your Calves
We rarely look at calves as traditional “problem areas,” but we sure do notice a nice set of calves when we see one. Is it just genetics…or is it something more? Genetics will most definitely play a part in the shape of your calves, but you can absolutely work toward building their size and strength!
The calves are a complex muscle, but you should be mainly concerned with the Gastrocnemius (Gastroc) and the Soleus. The Gastroc gets more stimulation during standing calf exercises where your knees are extended (not bent). The Soleus is the smaller muscle and hides below the Gastroc. It gets more stimulation during bent-leg exercises and responds well to slow-twitch endurance and high reps.
As a general rule with all of my training, I always put a priority on any muscle group that is lagging. If your calves are not as developed as they should be, it’s time to dedicate a couple (or more) days per week to them, hitting all the angles and working to failure.
I love the way my legs look in shorts and heels with great calves, but…good luck trying to squeeze into your skinny jeans once you start making gains!
Just because there are two dedicated calf machines at the gym (sitting and standing), doesn’t mean those are your only two options. You MUST get creative and think outside the box in order to hit all the angles and activate the entire calf.
You want volume when it comes to training calves, so lower the weight, increase the reps, vary the exercises and get busy!
For TWO of my calf workouts,