How To Strengthen Your Calves The Right Way

18th August 2018
Learn how to strengthen your calves in a practical and efficient way.

Calves are the back portion of the lower leg. They are located in the area that goes from the knee down to the ankle. Many people think that strengthening your calves the right way is a hard thing to do and therefore stop training their legs, making them appear uneven to the rest of the body.

However, it’s not so hard to train this part of the body: with a little bit of patience and perseverance training your calves, is the same as training any other muscle. Plus, you can even train your calves without having the need to go to the gym, or use special equipment. We’ll let you in on a couple of exercise secrets that will help you to strengthen your calves the easy way:

Heel lifts to strengthen your calves at home

To strengthen your calves you must include this exercise in your routine, given that it’s one of the easiest and most effective exercises, you can also do this at home. This is one of the best exercises to strengthen the soleus muscle, which is the muscle just below the calf. Follow these steps:

  • Stand on a step and place only your toes on it, not using the sole of your foot.
  • Lower your heels as low as you can. Meanwhile, notice your calves stretching and hold the position for five seconds.
  • Raise your heels, aim for as high as you can go, and stand on your tiptoes on the step, for another five seconds approximately.
  • Repeat the movements in reverse and stretch your muscles. Repeat this exercise 10 times to make a complete set. 
heel lifts exercise

  • Once you’ve finished all of the repetitions, take a break and rest your legs before starting the second part of this exercise. Place the tips of your toes over the step again, very close to each other and separate your heels.
  • Perform the same movements as in the first part of the exercise, and repeat 10 times to complete a set.
  • Lastly, relax your legs and separate your toes from one another, as you bring your heels together. Raise and lower yourself 10 times.

By practicing this routine four times a week you’ll achieve stronger legs and most importantly, you’ll gain some muscle mass on your calves. 

Calf raise step-ups, to strengthen your calves

Another exercise you can do to strengthen your calves, avoid injuries and tone your muscles, are the calf raise step-ups. 

You can do this both at the gym and at home. Plus, they’re easy to do and very similar to the previous exercise.

To start all you need is a stool, a box or the step you used before. It’s important that this is strongly attached to the floor. Place it in front of you. If it’s not safely attached to the floor, place the step on a mat to avoid slipping or falling.

To correctly train your calves with the calf raise step-ups, all you have to do is follow these steps:

  1. Stand in font of the step with your back, legs and head straight.
  2. Secondly, put your foot on the step and raise your body with the support of it. Stretch your leg by lifting your heel.
  3. Lower your body to slowly come back to the initial position and notice how your calves are stretching.
  4. Once you come back to the initial position, switch legs and repeat the same movement.
single leg calf raises with step

Lastly, repeat this exercise 12 times for each leg, rest for a few seconds and repeat until you complete three sets. We recommend you do this exercise three times a week to strengthen your calves.

Certainly, calves might need more work than other muscles to be strong. Only with patience and perseverance will you increase their volume. 

We gave you just two exercises, but there are more that you can easily complete at home.