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Exercises for Increasing Calf Muscle Size

by
author image Judy Bruen
Judy Bruen is a private certified personal trainer and wellness coach. She holds dual master's degrees from Boston College in clinical social work and pastoral ministry. She currently works with individuals on fitness, health and lifestyle goals.
Exercises for Increasing Calf Muscle Size
A man with large calves running up stairs. Photo Credit Maksim Koval/iStock/Getty Images

Strengthening the calf muscles does more than enhance the physical appearance of your legs. The calves propel many different movements, including running, jumping and walking. Building calf muscle can make it easier to perform these physical endeavors, contributing to improvements in fitness level and athletic capability.

Lift up

Dumbbells increase external resistance, upping the challenge for your calves. Hold a moderately heavy weight in each hand, stand up straight and position your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees slightly, hang your arms by your sides and turn your palms inward. Lift your heels as high as possible and shift your weight onto the balls of your feet. Pause for one second, then lower your heels until they are about to touch the floor. Repeat 12 to 15 times. Increase the weight if your calves are not fatigued after 15 reps.

Take a seat

The seated calf machine builds muscle in your calves. Choose an appropriate weight plate and place it on the machine -- there will be an attachment for it on the front of the machine. Sit down, position your thighs under the leg pad and place the balls of your feet on the platform. Your heels are not on the machine. Sit up straight and hold onto the handle bars with your hands. Push your toes down and lift your heels as high as possible. Pause, lower your heels slightly below the platform and repeat. Complete 12 to 15 reps. Increase the weight if 15 reps are not challenging.

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