In order to understand how to train the calves, we need to understand the anatomy first. Calves are technically a pair of muscles known as the triceps surae which is made up of the soleus and gastrocnemius, the soleus is underneath the gastroc but is actually bigger in terms of muscle volume, so if you want massive calves you need to train the gastroc. Calves is said to be the hardest muscles to grow, but you can do so with the right approach.
Building calves takes time
Calves are generally composed of slow twitch muscles which takes time to see results and are generally more fitting for long endurance activity. Many people try to train calves by adding weights on their knees during seated calf raises, however it doesn’t show much results. Activities such as walking and standing rely on calves for support, training calves with slower reps, more volume and for a longer duration can give positive results.
Workout for your calves
• In-to-out standing calf raise:
To do them you need to stand on a raised surface with your heels off the ground. Try to get a grip of something in front of you for support and sink your heels down until you feel a full stretch in your calves. Elevate your heels as far as you can and hold it for one second, slowly lower your heels back to the ground. Repeat it for 10 to 30 times for 2 sets.
• Cliffhanger stairs:
Cliffhanger stairs is a type of drill where you can uniquely train your calves by simply moving up and down the stairs. It improves balance and helps in strengthening your lower legs. To do this you simply need to move up and down the stairs by raising your heels with the balls of your feet on the ground. You can also balance yourself by getting hold of a railing. You can do so for 60 seconds, for around 5 sets with 30 seconds rests in between.
• Seated calf raise
The development of soleus is important for big calves, and the best way to trigger it is by seated calf raises. In order to do so, we need to find ourselves a seated calf raise machine and put our feet on the pad with the heels hanging off with only the balls of the feet on the pad. Bring your heels all the way down as far as you can stretch them and back up with all the emphasis on the big toe. Squeeze the calves at the top, pause for 1 min, complete it in 4 sets with 20 reps.