Calf Building Exercises

Calf Building Exercises
Building strong calves for running, walking or hiking can be done without leaving your home. Simply applying resistance against your muscles while standing and squeezing your calves is an effective way to start building mass. You can also make your exercises more challenging by adding barbells, dumbbells, steps and blocks. Be careful to use the appropriate weights for your fitness level and consult a doctor before starting an exercise routine.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Standard Calf Exercises

Things You’ll Need:
  • Workout step or block Barbell Dumbbell
  • Workout step or block
  • Barbell
  • Dumbbell
Step 1
Build your calf muscles slowly by using just your body weight as resistance. Put aside any hand weights and barbells until you work up to longer repetitions with weights.
Step 2
Stand against a wall or exercise bar and stand on your toes until your calf muscles are stretched tight. Hold for five seconds.
Step 3
Slowly release your calf muscle and return to standing flat on the floor. Repeat your repetitions 20 times and rest a moment before continuing. You can also add a workout step or block to increase the challenge of this exercise.

Standing Barbell Calf Exercise

Step 1
Place a step bench or block in front of you. Keep it low to the floor, but at least a few inches high. Stand up on it to test that it is secure and won't slip on the floor.
Step 2
Place a barbell across the back of your shoulders. Do not let it rest on your neck. The barbell should be heavy enough to create a strain on your muscles, but not so heavy to cause injury. This technique is for more advanced weight users.
Step 3
Stand on the block or step bench with your heels hanging off the edge and find your balance.
Step 4
Raise your heels and squeeze your calves before slowly releasing. Do 20 repetitions and repeat as desired.

Dumbbell Calf Raise

Step 1
Position and block or workout step in front of you. Check to see if it is secure and won't slip on the floor when you stand on it.
Step 2
Pick up a dumbbell in one hand. The weight is up to you and depends on your comfort and endurance level. The weight should be heavy enough to create resistance, but not heavy that you are struggling to hold it.
Step 3
Stand on the block or step and let one heel drop off the edge as far as you can. You should drop the heel that is opposite to the hand with the dumbbell. If you're holding the weight in your right hand, drop the left foot. Reverse if you want to work on your right calf muscle.
Step 4
Hook your other leg around the leg that is on the block or step.
Step 5
Raise your heel up and squeeze your calf muscle before slowly releasing. Do 20 repetitions before switching legs and moving the weight to your other hand. Repeat as desired.

Tips & Warnings

Stretch before and after calf building exercises to avoid cramps and damage.

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