How to target outer calves?


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By Amy Eisinger

How do I grow the sides of my calves?

One of the best ways to increase calf size is to do standing calf raises. This exercise emphasizes the gastrocnemius, the largest muscle in the calf. It can be done with or without weights.

Why are my outer calves so big?

Huge calf muscles may be the result of genetics, poor nutrition or a lack of exercise. By taking the appropriate steps, you can reduce the size of bulky calf muscles without losing their toned appearance.

What do outer calf raises work?

Calf raises are a method of exercising the triceps surae (gastrocnemius and soleus), tibialis posterior, and peroneal muscles of the lower leg. The movement performed is plantar flexion, also called ankle extension.

Other ways to increase calf size

  1. Sprinting. Powerful bursts of sprinting will challenge your calf muscles.
  2. Uphill walking. When you walk or run on an incline, your calves work against more resistance.
  3. Jumping rope. Jumping rope can help to strengthen and tone your calves while also boosting your cardio fitness.

6 Tips to Get Bigger Calves

  1. Train Calves for 2-4 Weeks Straight. Train your calves on a daily basis for a period of 2-4 consecutive weeks before returning to your normal program.
  2. Train Before Bed.
  3. Walk on Your Tiptoes More.
  4. Calf Raises on Stairs.
  5. Do 2 Calf Workouts per Week (Heavy and Light)
  6. Train Barefoot.

Can you change the shape of your calves?

Incorporating a few calf muscle exercises three to four times a week along with following a sensible diet can make a difference in the shape of your lower leg. Not only will your two calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus) get stronger, but you will become leaner.

Can you change the size of your calves?

While it’s not possible to spot reduce through targeted exercises (this is an all-too-common fiction), it is possible to slim your calves through diet and exercise and by losing overall body fat.

How do I make my outer calves bigger?

A resistance exercise that will help target the outer calves is a standing calf raise with the toes pointed out. Turning the toes out during the standing calf raise will emphasize the outer portion of the calf muscle.

Are wide calves genetic?

Our genetics influences the size and shape of our muscle bellies. Those who have larger muscle bellies in the calves will have larger calf muscles whereas someone with calf muscles with a small muscle belly will have limited growth potential.

What is the fastest way to grow calves?

Regarding exercise variety, any calf raise will grow your two calf muscles, but you can add variety by performing two exercises: standing and donkey calf raises to hit your gastrocnemius (outer calf) and seated raises to work your soleus (inner calf). Although, make no mistake, both variations hit both muscles.

How to Hit Those Stubborn Outer Calves

  1. Standing Calf Raise on Machine (toes in): 3 sets, 20–25 reps.
  2. Standing Calf Raise on Machine (toes straight): 3 sets, 12–15 reps.
  3. Seated Calf Raise (toes in): 3 sets, 20–25 reps.
  4. Seated Calf Raise (toes straight): 3 sets, 12–15 reps.

What causes calves to get bigger?

Exercise – Repetitive movement through exercise will put strain on your calf muscles causing them to be stronger and bigger. Walking long distances while wearing high heels will also contribute. Fatty tissue – Fatty deposits are another possible reason for thicker calves.


  1. Stop doing whatever exercises that made your calves muscular in the first place. The main way to reduce your calf muscles is by using them as little as possible and giving your muscles a chance to reduce on their own.
  2. Do more low-intensity cardio.
  3. Focus on losing weight overall.

How do you strengthen your outside calves?

Running, walking, and hiking are excellent calf-strengthening exercises, especially when you go uphill. The steeper the climb, the more your calves have to work. Running sports such as soccer, basketball, and tennis demand that you run, jump, and push off your calf muscles to accelerate or change direction quickly.

How do I strengthen my calf bone?

Calf raises can help strengthen the calf muscles, which may relieve some pain. Stand on a step or step stool with the balls of your feet on the stool and the back half floating off of it. Slowly raise up on your toes and then drop down, stretch your foot and calf muscle as your heels lower. Hold for 10–20 seconds.

Why does the outside of my calf hurt?

Calf pain is usually caused by cramp, when the muscles suddenly contract. This might happen if you have been doing new exercises, if you are dehydrated, or if you are deficient in some minerals. Cramps normally go away quite quickly by themselves.Try some of the following foods:

  • lean proteins, such as chicken and fish.
  • red meat with no growth hormones, such as grass-fed beef.
  • eggs.
  • full-fat dairy, such as whole milk and full-fat Greek yogurt.
  • fat-rich fruits, such as avocados.
  • nuts, such as almonds.
  • whole-grain breads.

Seated calf raises are a great place to start with for improving calf strength and flexibility without putting any weight through the foot.

  1. Sit in a chair, feet flat on the floor, knees bent at right angles (90 degrees)
  2. Gently press your toes into the floor as you lift your heel(s) up as high as you can.

Things you can do to ease discomfort include:

  1. Ice your shins. Ice several times a day for 3 days or until pain is gone.
  2. Do stretching exercises, especially over the front part of the shin.
  3. Take ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin to decrease swelling and to help with pain.
  4. Use arch supports.
  5. Work with a physical therapist.

Treating a pulled calf muscle

  1. Ice or cold compresses. Wrap these in a soft cloth and place on your calf for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat pads.
  3. Leg wraps.
  4. Prop your leg up above heart level.
  5. Rest for at least a full day.
  6. Take over-the-counter pain medications.

What causes calf size?

Thicker calves can be due to one of the following reasons: Genetics – Your height, your muscle mass, your fat ratio will affect the size of your calves. Look at your family members to see if they have naturally big calves, this will give you an idea whether this is related to your genetic makeup.

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