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Looking for more sculpted and prominent calves? Try these exercises

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NPC competition judges are virtually obsessed with balance, so making sure that your lower and upper body are proportionately developed should be a top priority as you train.

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Is there one part of your physique that simply refuses to respond to your current fitness competition training? If so, you're not alone. Even the most seasoned bikini competition entrants have their insecurities, particularly when they're on stage with other impossibly toned contenders.

One physical characteristic that many women may fret about is their calf muscles. Your quads and glutes may be perfectly chiseled and toned, but the closer you get to your clear competition shoes, the less impressive your overall appearance becomes. This may seem like a small detail to some, but keep in mind that NPC competition judges are virtually obsessed with balance, so making sure that your lower and upper body are proportionately developed should be a top priority as you train.

So, to make sure that your calves are contributing to your overall impact on stage, try incorporating these moves into your routine.

Standing calf raise - To perform this simple exercise, grab a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet a shoulder-length apart with your knees slightly bent. Then, in a controlled motion, push yourself up so that you're standing on your toes. Hold this position and then lower yourself down, still maintaining the same degree of control. This move focuses primarily on developing your gastrocnemius, which is the large exterior muscle of your calf.

Seated calf raise - This move targets your soleus muscles, which are beneath the gastrocnemius and are not visible. You can perform this by sitting on an exercise ball and resting dumbbells on top of your knees. Then, push up your feet so you are again resting on your toes. The 90-degree angle of this exercise, AskTheTrainer.com notes,  is the reason it affects the soleus most, because the gastrocnemius doesn't contract or expand in this position. 

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