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Skinny Calves No Longer

Joe Pietaro

Joe Pietaro

Joe Pietaro Contributer
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Your calves are certainly a muscle that has a lot to do with genetics and those who are blessed with the right ones have a leg up (no pun intended) on the competition. But even if you are left out in the cold on this one, there are plenty of options at your disposal to grow those puny lower legs. There are a few things to take into consideration when it comes to having success in the calf department and one major aspect is the different angles that you can hit them from.

So many gym goers get into that rut of doing every calf exercise the same way - foot halfway on the lift and toes pointed straight ahead. Sure, bombing them with good form and volume will eventually get your calves to grow, but you are taking the long way home when a valuable 'shortcut' is staring you directly in the face.

Don't get us wrong; it's not really a shortcut, but rather a better way to go that will attack the muscle from different angles and cause it to grow aesthetically. The calf is made up of two parts of what is called gastricnemius muscle - the medial head (inside portion) and the lateral head (outside portion) and the way you point your toes determines which of these two you are focusing on. The simplest way to remember out is toes out works the medial head and toes in is for the lateral head. What about toes pointed straight like we described above? That will work a little of each, but why not isolate each to really tax them?

The toe position will work on any and all calf exercises - seated, standing, leg press, etc. and you can even get more creative by also switching up your foot/sole position, as well. For example, using a 45 degree angle leg press locked out is a great calf movement and one where you will feel it hitting them at different heights by altering how high or low you place your foot at the bottom of the steel plate that is the main part of the machine. The higher you place your foot and leave more of it above the lip, the extension on the muscle becomes greater.

Mix it up and try different positions on each of the movements that you do for calves. Some may work better than others for you, and perhaps you can visually see portions of your calves that need more work. Now you have the solution to that potential problem.
 

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