Calves….the arch nemesis muscle group of the genetically unblessed. If you are like me, you have tried every single strategy to get these stubborn muscles to show any signs of growth. While this can be a pain staking laborious task, it is well worth it if you want to attain an aesthetic set of wheels.

Related: How to Grow Your Calves

While training calves 3-5 times per week with a mix of heavy, medium and light weight training with various rep ranges is a common and sometimes effective means of eliciting growth, there may be a better way. So if you are keen to see some centimetre gains around your twigs, you might find the answer in a study which was conducted by Michael Mullaney of the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma.

THE GOAL

Mullaney and his team investigated how intensively various calf exercises worked the muscle. While their goal was to ascertain this information for physiotherapists in order to create better rehabilitation programs for people who had undergone an Achilles heel operation, their results can be used healthy individuals who are looking to build their calves.

THE STUDY

Mullaney applied bipolar surface electrodes to the medial and lateral heads of the gastrocnemius(superficial muscle of the calf) and on the soleus (deep muscle within the calf) of 10 participants who were between 22 and 32 years old. They then measured the muscle activity during 8 common therapeutic calf exercises.



Related: 30 Day Calf Challenge 

THE RESULTS

The below table shows the muscle activity on the various calf exercises. Mullaney found that out of the 8 therapeutic exercises, the heel rise and single-leg hopping were the most effective exercises for working the calf muscle.

While single-leg hopping looks ridiculous, it actually works the calf muscle more effectively than the traditional calf raise.


HOW TO PERFORM THE SINGLE LEG CALF HOP FOR BIGGER CALVES

Stand on one-leg and simply hop up and down, landing on the ball of your foot and lower your heel until it is just above the ground. From the bottom position, explode your body as high as possible into the air.

Perform this on each leg for a set rep range or duration. Sets can range from 30-60 reps or from 30-60 seconds.


HOP TO BIGGER CALVES – THE CONCLUSION

If you have tried everything else to get your calves to grow and still no change, then why not incorporate the single-leg hop into your calf training routine.

 



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