7 Best Exercises to Strengthen Your Calves

Calf muscles assist you in propelling yourself forward and higher (Image via Pexels/Rich Ortiz)
Calf muscles assist you in propelling yourself forward and higher (Image via Pexels/Rich Ortiz)

Calves that are strong not only look good, but they also help you build power both inside and outside the gym. If you strengthen your calves, they will assist you in propelling yourself forward and higher, especially during explosive actions.

This makes them ideal for sprinting and plyometrics, as well as activities requiring leg propulsion or foot stabilization after landing, such as running, volleyball, and basketball. All athletes, especially runners, require calf strength and ankle mobility. However, in many training routines, this foundation is overlooked.

The calves, along with the quadriceps, absorb the most stress when your feet fall, whether you're skiing down a cliff or hitting the pavement.

Excellent workouts to strengthen your calves

Calf muscles can be strengthened with a variety of weighted and bodyweight exercises. Check out this list of the seven best exercises that will help strengthen your calves:

1) Standard calf-raise

A calf-raise is one of the basic exercises to strengthen your calves. It can be done almost anywhere. It promotes ankle strength and flexibility, helps avoid injury, and increases athletic performance in addition to boosting your calf muscles.


Here is how to do it:

  • With your toes facing forward, stay with your feet touching the floor and hip width apart.
  • As high as you can, elevate onto the balls of your feet.
  • Pause at the top, gripping your calf muscles, then slowly and steadily slide your heels back down. Rep as necessary.

2) Leg press machine calf-raise

If you don't have sitting calf raise equipment or aren't comfy using a barbell, another alternative at the gym is to do calf rises on the leg press machine. You don't have to risk losing your balance because the leg press machine sustains your upper body.

This activity should be avoided if you have knee pain.


Here is how to do it:

  • Place your feet flat on the surface of the leg press machine.
  • Using the heels of your feet, push the disk away from your body until your legs are almost locked out but not totally locked out.
  • Before returning to flat feet, push with your toes into a tiptoe stance and hold for a count.
  • Do 10–15 repetitions.

3) Jumping calf press

Jumping calf press is one of the most effective exercises to strengthen your calves. It's a plyometric activity that will help you gain power and explosiveness.


Here is how to do it:

  • Stand with your palms by your sides, your abs activated, and your spine erect in a natural stance.
  • Leap into the air by exploding off the floor with your sole of the foot.
  • Land softly on the balls of your feet.
  • Instead of depending on your quadriceps to fuel your jump, concentrate on the tightness and rigidity in your calf muscles.
  • Rep 10 times more.

4) Jumping rope

Jumping rope is not only a great cardiovascular workout, but it is also a great way to strengthen your calves. Jumping from the balls of your feet repeatedly works the calves’ muscles, increasing power, strength, and muscular endurance.


Here is how to do it:

  • Grab a jump rope handles in each hand, with the rope's midsection centered behind you.
  • The rope endpoints should be held out through your body, parallel to your hips.
  • Fling the rope up and over your body by rotating your wrists.
  • Leap over the rope with both legs while it comes down in front of you, resting gently on the sole of the foot.
  • Swing the rope around you and return over your head in the same motion.

5) Farmer’s walk on toes

This is one of the best exercises to strengthen your calves, and the balance variant on the conventional farmer's walk is great for operational calf strengthening and balance.


Here is how to do it:

  • With your legs hip-width apart, hold a pair of dumbbells.
  • Lift your heels so you're balancing on your toes while retaining your shoulder blades and your core engaged.
  • Walk forward on your toes for a specific desired number of repetitions or duration without allowing your heels to touch the ground.

6) Dumbbell jump squat

Another great exercise for your calves, in these squats, the calf muscles provide power during the ascension phase of the jump squat, as well as stabilizing during the landing phase. This helps strengthen the calf muscles.


Here is how to do it:

  • Stand strong with your legs shoulder-width apart, carrying a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor and you're in a squat position by pushing your hips back.
  • Straighten your legs to spring off the ground and out of the squat position in one forceful action.
  • As you slowly lower into the squat posture, land softly with bent knees. Repeat.

7) Butt kicks

Butt kicks are a sort of plyometric workout that involves jumping to strengthen your calves. This high-intensity aerobic activity is one of the best exercises to strengthen your calves.


Here is how to do it:

  • Standing with your arms at your sides and your feet beneath your hips is a good way to start. You should be standing on the sole of the foot.
  • Raise your right foot to your buttocks while bending your left leg.
  • Return to the starting spot as quickly as possible.
  • Replace the opposite leg and repeat the process.

Poll : Have you tried some of these calf exercises?


No. But, I will start soon.

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Edited by Upasya Bhowal