Many bodybuilders in the gym have this problem: although their calves are trained they do not increase in volume!
The calf is a muscle whose size is largely determined by one's own size genetics, and if it's small it can make our legs look tiny despite being trained intensively.
With "Calf“We often mistakenly mean the set of muscles that are present between the ankle and the knee, or those that allow us to move our feet and not unbalance our body; actually the calf is one of the two main muscles of the leg and is called gastrocnemius, which together with soleus form the triceps sural.
The soleus supports our body while standing, while the gastrocnemius is a more explosive muscle that is used during running, jumping and other fast leg movements.
Why so hard?
As we said before, a good part of the volume of our calves comes from genetics, but the difficulty in training them also comes from the soleus; muscles are composed of fibers which can be red or white, which respectively serve a resist fatigue or explosive movements: the soleus has the red fibers, while the gastrocnemius has the white fibers.
The soleus, as its function is the maintaining posture, it is in fact very resistant because unlike the other muscles it is used intensively throughout the day, preventing the legs from yielding under our weight.
It is also used more than the gastrocnemius in most exercises for the sural triceps, such as the Calf seated, and you have to warm up and exercise a lot before it gets tired, leaving room for the gastrocnemius to work.
Warming up can be boring, but it is very important in developing the calves, luckily there are several exercises to choose from, for example:
? Treadmill on a slope
? Calf Sitting
Il jump rope even if it focuses on the legs it is one of the best cardio exercises for the whole body: during the execution, the rear deltoids, quadriceps and hamstrings are used in addition to the legs.
To get the most out of jumping rope you need almost perfect movement. If you are a beginner just try jumping rope slowly moving only the wrists; the arms must remain motionless.
Three sets of 10 minutes each can be enough to start, if you do not feel your legs burn yet, increase the speed or time, or try to jump alternating one foot at a time and when you can you can do two turns of rope for each jump!
Treadmill on a slope
This exercise can be combined with running if you have to do cardio; start by warming up by walking with the incline to a minimum for 5 minutes, subsequently gradually increase the slope every other 5 minutes, how much you will have to decide taking into account your tiredness.
The more you are on the slope the more you will work your calves, every now and then also try to increase the speed and you will feel your legs burning!
This exercise can be done on the Seated Calf Raise Machine or Leg Press, keeping the knees bottle and still, moving the ankles forward.
The importance of this exercise is in the number of sets that are done, as we said before the calves are one of the most resistant muscles in our body and to make them reach hypertrophy they must be adequately tired. 4 series until bankruptcy separate da 1 minute interval should be enough.
Remember to keep between 10 and 20 the number of reps, if you manage to do 21 in one set you increase the weight.
After the warm-up you can work hard to increase the mass of your legs, choose two of these exercises and perform them for 4 series each, or an exercise for 8 series, with repetitions between 10 and 20.
# 1 Calf on your feet
It can be done on the specific machine, on the smith machine or even better if using a barbell resting on the trapeze or dumbbells.
# 2 Donkey Calf Raise
It can be done on the appropriate machine or any raised bench with free body, if the last variant does not tire you, change exercise.
# 3 Calf standing one-sided
Like the standing dumbbell calf, only you need to put only one foot on the riser and hold a dumbbell in the hand opposite the foot you will be moving in the exercise.
Perform this exercise carefully in front of a wall or a support on which you can rest your free hand.
Do the warm-up and exercises 1 or 2 times a week, and with determination you will see that your calves will improve and will no longer be a problem!