What you need to know before you learn how to build your calf muscle : Calve muscles are amongst the hardest parts in the body to build. Although people are constantly working their calves when they walk, but this part of their legs just seems to refuse growing. The reason for this is that calve muscles adapt with the daily routine of the body, and naturally their small size is perfectly fit to walking. In order to grow your calves you will need more than just a daily walk, you will need to know how to build your calf muscle, and how to stress both of them enough in the right way so that they will have to grow in order to fit your new daily routine. But before that, you need to acquire some basic knowledge about their anatomy.
The Anatomy of the Calves :
The calf has two main muscles: the soleus muscle, and gastrocnemius muscle. The soleus is the largest and most powerful muscle in the calf, it extends from below the knee to the heel and connects closely to the gastrocnemius muscle which is a powerful and a superficial muscle in the back of the lower leg.
These two muscles are involved in maintaining the standing and walking positions of the body, and in order to learn how to build your calf muscle you need to understand the concept. This concept is simple: in order to grow these muscles you need to focus on augmenting the weight these muscles have to carry in these circumstances, on a daily basis of course. This way, your calves will stress and in response will grow to adapt with the new demands of your body.
Why my calves are not growing despite the fact I work them out regularly?
Image Credit @ Webmd.com
The reason of this problem is that you are underestimating the natural strength of your calves, and as by consequence you are not working them out enough. Let me explain with an example:
Let’s say you weigh 180 lbs; you go to the gym and decide to work out your calves, so you load 400 lbs on the leg press and do some calf raises, then you go back home, thinking you did something good enough to grow your calves! WRONG! You should know that compared to the daily work your calves are used to, what you just did in the gym is nothing but a waste of time simply because 400 lbs divided by 2 equals 200 lbs, and that is only 20 lbs more than your actual body weight, which means your calves were not stressed at all.
Another reason might be the amount of time you are dedicating to your calves. Most of the people when going to the gym spend a lot of time working out other muscles, but when it comes to their calves they just ignore them or give them very little attention. And again this is WRONG, because your calves deserve the same amount of time to be given to them, definitely not less.
Some Exercises To Help You Grow Your Calves :
If you understood the previous explanations about how to build your calf muscle by using the concept of its natural function in the body, you should know than in order to grow the calves, the exercises needed will certainly fall into one of the two categories: walking and running on one hand, and augmenting the weight your calves need to support on the other one.
Running requires more effort than just walking, and will force your calve muscles to bear your body weight in a fast, successive and constant way, this will help them grow better. Also another good exercise is the jumping rope, however you should always keep the ground contact very short for a maximum of results. This will help stretch the muscles in your lower leg, then contract them as you touch the ground, and so on in a continuous way which will eventually grow them. Another good routine to include is uphill sprints where you will need to sprint up a steep heel as many times as you can, this will certainly give you tremendous results.
Image Credit @ Flickr.com
The other way is using weights, really heavy weights. Your calves are used to support your body weight, and they are pretty much comfortable with that for hours, but using heavier weights should stress and strain them enough in such a way that each one of your calves will have to lift far more weight than your own body. Though you should watch out and go carefully by increasing the weights progressively.
Finally, you need to be patient and consistent. Arnold Schwarzenegger once said that you can’t get good carves with less than 500 hours of working them out! So patience is the key, and good luck!