There is no bigger testimony to the fact that having weak calf muscles can dent all the good work done on the upper body, Since that first defeat, Arnold Schwarzenegger just like all the other bodybuilding heavyweights have stressed the importance of having good well defined and muscular calves.
About Calf Muscles
Calf muscle is not a single muscle but is in fact made up of three parts namely the gastrocnemius, the soleus and the Achilles tendon. Any calf development program must be made keeping in mind the overall development of all the three parts of the muscle to achieve desired results.Also not included in the calf region is the tibialis anterior which in layman’s terms is the muscle in the front of the leg. A well developed tibialis anterior is also very important to achieve good calf muscle growth.
How To Build Huge Calf Muscles
Seated Calf Raises
Seated calf raise is one of the best exercises to increase the size of the soleus. Seated calf raise are performed on a calf raise machine by positioning your knees under the pads and feet placed on the foot plate of the machine.
Extend your feet, and hold the contraction for one to two seconds. Return to the starting position, and try to get a full stretch when you lower your heels. Reps in the 12-15 range provide best results.
Donkey Calf Raises
Donkey calf raises is by far the most popular exercise that increases the mass and width of the calf muscles. Donkey calf raises are performed by bending over your body forming an L with your lower body with people sitting on your back.
Placing the feet on a platform, rise up on the toes and hold for the contraction for one to seconds. Reps in the 12-15 range provide best results. If you do not have access to people sitting on your back, you can include hill climbing or walking on the treadmill at an incline to compensate for the Donkey calf raises.
Standing Calf Raise
Standing Calf Raise is one of the most important calf muscle building exercises and must always be included in the workout at all times. Standing calf raise works on the Triceps Surae which carries the entire weight of the body while walking.
This muscle is developed by heavy lists and good hard repetitions. Depending on your experience and strength, you can add weights to add resistance, but the exercise is very effective with body weight alone in most cases.
Expert Advice For Calf Muscles
After losing out of his debut championships, Arnold Schwarzenegger took guidance from one of his childhood inspirational figures, the great Reg Park who advised him to go hard and heavy on the calves. Train the calved as you would train any other body part that Park said, was the key to getting them to develop like any other body part.
The answer given to Arnold almost half a decade back still holds good and is the key in developing good, strong calves. Most experts suggest that one of the biggest mistakes body building students and enthusiast do is to either ignore the calf muscles or do them at the end of their daily routines. So go with the experts and do not ignore the calves out and implement a training schedule with dedicated development for the calves.
Calf Muscles And Rest
One of the most under rated factors in developing good killer calf muscles is rest. Remember that calves will not grow without the proper rest. Most bodybuilders, wrestlers and weightlifters need a minimum of 8 hours of sleep a night for muscle recovery.
There is no hard and fast rule for sleep and depending on each person and his body clock and lifestyle but any rest or sleep smaller and 6 to 7 hours can be a hindrance in your goal to achieve those perfect strong killer calves.