Why do calves seem to be the most neglected body part when training the lower body. Ever notice the guys at the gym that are wearing the "barely there" cut up muscle t's and wearing big baggy sweatpants? Chances are they're hiding their weakness.. skinny legs! What are the best calves exercises for mass? As with any muscle group, genetics plays a big role in determining how big you can naturally get. Here are some basics you should be trying if your goal is to build bigger calves. The muscles of the upper legs have many functions of course and one being that they support your core muscles and body-weight when lifting or for movement in general. The smaller calf muscles of the lower leg are the stabilizers if you will. They don't have the size or strength to push big loads themselves, however they act as the little brother for the massive muscles of the upper legs that have more brawn. Aside from functionality tho let's be honest... skinny legs make a guy who's otherwise very muscular, look a bit dis-proportioned.
We should mention that relying solely on squats and deadlifts along won't help you build bigger calves. That may seem like a no-brainer to some, but it warrants being said. Train your calves like you would any other muscle group, with a specific game plan and strategy when you hit the gym. Here are 4 calves exercises for mass - they are the basics you should master if your goal is thick powerful calves! 1) Standing Calf Raises – For this exercise, you can use the calf machine or a block. Slowly raise yourself up on the balls of your feet as high as you’re able to and contract your calf muscles as you reach the top. Hold for a moment, and slowly lower to the starting position and repeat. 2) Seated Calf Raises – This is very similar to the standing calf raises, but the seated calf raise will target the lower muscles of the calf. 3) Leg Press Calf Raises – Take a seat on the le press machine and hold the base with only your toes and the balls of your feat. Do not move with your hips and knees, instead use the movement of your ankles. This will put all the work on your calf muscles! 4) Box Jumps – This exercise will provide you with that explosive strength in your legs. It will train your calves to react and contract very quickly in various exercises and really help tone the calf muscle. Stand on the balls of your feet and toes in front of a box (select a box height that is appropriate to how high you can jump) and jump onto the box. Jump back down to the floor and perform about 10 reps. These four calves exercises for mass are some of the basic lower leg or calf exercises you should master whether you're a beginner or gymrat!