Calf Workout at Home

The article contains exercises and detailed workout tips both for beginners and advanced athletesThe article contains exercises and detailed workout tips both for beginners and advanced athletes


The Origin of the Problem and Anatomy

Calf workout means development of the gastrocnemius and soleus musclesCalf workout means development of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles

The civilization has given us many benefits, but it has also multiplied our problems. Oddly enough, improperly formed leg muscles, especially the calves, are among these problems. You may ask, “What does that have to do with the civilization?” The answer is that we began to walk far less.

Public transport and personal vehicle have taken from us 10 000 steps a day that are so needed for our beauty and health. As a result, we have weak and non-aesthetic calf muscles, and complexes about it, in addition.

More and more girls can boast skinny sticks with cellulite instead of pretty female legs. The situation with guys is not better: the chicken pads sticking out of the shorts look even more disgusting, especially if the impressive torso towers over them.

Nowadays, most boys prefer virtual soccer to the real one and wait their parents to drive them to school in the morning, instead of walking five hundred meters. Nevertheless, the problem of skinny calves can be solved, as well as many other things in our life. And you can solve it without leaving your home. You need just a little patience and time for this.

Effective Exercises

Such result can be achieved by multiple repeated exercises and proper loadSuch result can be achieved by multiple repeated exercises and proper load

In our article, we will focus on the exercises that can be performed at home. Note that most of them are performed without any additional weights. If it will be too easy for you to do them, you can take a couple of 5-liter bottles with water or other heavy objects.

Girls should take a look at the legs of dancers and gymnasts. They have beautiful lean leg muscles without looking overly bulky.

Rhythmic gymnasts, for example, use just their body weight during training without any additional sports equipment, and the same is for calf muscle strengthening.

For that purpose, their daily training routine includes a set of useful and effective exercises:

  • Stand straight and slowly rise on toes, lifting your heels from the floor as high as you can. Then lower your heels almost to the floor and then immediately rise again. Do 3–4 sets of 30 reps or just repeat 100 times in a row;
  • Take additional weights – light dumbbells or bottles with water – and do the same motions. If you cannot keep balance, you may take the weight in one hand and lean against the wall or the back of a chair with the other hand;
  • Another more complicated version of this exercise is first with one leg, then with the second leg. You can also use additional weights and do 4 sets of 30 reps.
Calf Raises on the platform

For the following exercise, you will need a step platform, a thick book, or just a stair step. Stand on the edge of a step with your heels hanging down. Rise on tiptoe, and then lower your body down, stretching your ankle to the limit and touching your heels to the floor.

There is a possibility of maneuver on a step or a step platform: you can adjust the angle of foot rotation and work the target part of the calf. Most girls should work out the internal part of the calf.

If while performing the raises you keep your feet parallel to each other, the major load goes to the middle part of the calf muscles. If you keep your heels together and toes apart, you target the internal part, and vice versa – heels apart, toes together – you work the external part of the calves.

The option of the calf raises on the platform for men: perform the exercise with the full range of motion, holding a dumbbell in one hand and leaning against the wall with the other hand for balance.

Tiptoe Walking Walking on tiptoes like a ballerina is the easiest exercise. Rise on tiptoe and walk with small steps. Try not to bend your knees.
Stair Walking This is an excellent way to work out calves. Walk up and down the stairs. You can also find an unpopular place close to your apartment and climb stairs with a pair of dumbbells. 15–30 minutes will be enough.
Jumping Rope  

Here is everything clear. If your living space allows it, take a jump rope and jump until you feel your calves burning. This exercise is usually performed by gymnasts and boxers.

Weighted Jumps Jump out of a squat position, holding a couple of dumbbells in your hands. This is one more exercise that greatly works the calves.
Weighted Squats Perform the squats with the dumbbells or six-liter canisters with water in your hands until you feel your leg muscles burning.
Seated Calf Raises You should work out your calves in the seated position as well, because the soleus muscle that is hidden from our sight and that makes up three quarters of the lower leg muscles, can be worked only this way. The exercises that are performed in a standing position target the external muscle of the calf, and this is just a quarter of its volume. Sit down on a chair, take a canister with water or put your child on your knees. Rise on toes. If after 15 reps you feel your calves burning, it means that you have chosen the right weight. The exercise is performed in a slow pace.
Pistol Squat This exercise is difficult to perform, therefore it is suitable for advanced athletes. Hold onto something with your hand, extend one of your legs forward, and squat on the other leg as many times as you can.
Jogging Jogging (How to Breathe Properly While Running) can help you work out your calves very quickly. Don not neglect jogging, especially at nice weather.
Cycling, Skiing, Tennis, Roller Skating, Ice Skating Each of the above-mentioned kinds of sports is "calf-forming" and yields an amazing result for leg muscles. So, buy a pair of roller-skates or a tennis racket and work out the target muscles with pleasure. However, unlike the previous exercises, these are outdoor activities.

Choose 4–5 exercises that you like most and perform them every 3–4 days. You can alternate and interchange them to avoid getting used to the load.

General Tips

Remember that you should work out other muscle groups as wellRemember that you should work out other muscle groups as well

  • Before you start to perform the set of calf-building exercises, you should properly warm up your muscles and the joints of ankles and fingers;
  • After exercises, do not forget to stretch your shin muscles. For this, you should take a wide step backward, place your heel on the floor, and bend your torso forward. Stretch each leg for 10–20 seconds;
  • The range of motion while performing the exercises should be maximum;
  • You should change the load regularly. Vary the exercises, otherwise you may get used to the load that can lower the effectiveness of your workouts;
  • You should work out calves two or three times a week in order to give the muscles time to recover;
  • Aerobic exercises should be performed at the beginning of training. You should finish your workout with calf strengthening exercises to stimulate their growth;
  • You can increase the muscle load during calf raises by shifting your body weight to the toes;
  • You can complicate the calf-building exercises by pausing for five counts at the top of the rise;
  • The main thing is that you should avoid overtraining your muscles to prevent cramps.


The calf muscles are difficult to build, because they are used by us constantly, and they are strong and durable by nature. They slowly respond to the physical load and require more time to work them out compared to other muscles. You will have to work hard to achieve stable results.

The well-formed calf muscles look beautiful and attractive both at men, and at women. The task can be easier if you start to work them out since your childhood.

Shalukhin Alexander
Shalukhin Alexander
Personal trainer, sports doctor, physical therapist
  • Builds individualized exercise programs and leads personal training sessions;
  • Specializes in sports traumatology and physiotherapy;
  • Provides classic therapeutic and sports massage sessions;
  • Conducts research studies on new exercise and recovery techniques;
  • Chief website editor. Writes articles on sports injuries and sports supplements reviews.


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