Do Squats Work Calves

Squats are fantastic for your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and lower back, but are they suitable for your calves? Well, this is a common question that I’ve been asked many times.

If you have ever wanted to know if squats work calves, then you’re in luck. In this article, we’re going to take a look at how squats can help you get the calves you’ve always wanted. You will never have to worry about how to get calves again!

What Are Squats?

I’m sure that you’ve seen someone in the gym doing squats, but what exactly are they? Don’t worry; I’m about to tell you. Squats are one of the best exercises for the legs and muscles in the rest of your body, too. They are easy to do and are a great way to burn fat and build strength.

Squats help tone your thighs and build strength and power in your legs. Squats are among the most effective exercises you can do to get a healthy, toned butt. And who doesn’t want that? This is the best exercise for athletes or people with a desk job who want to stay fit and healthy.

Do Squats Work Calves?

Yes, Squats do work on calves. Calf muscles help provide the balance to your body when you are performing the squats.

Many of your muscles contract to keep the body in proper form when you squat; calves are one of the groups that contract while squatting. The gastrocnemius muscle group at the sole helps stabilize your position.

There was a study done on 28 healthy individuals who performed five squats each, and as a result, the gastrocnemius muscle group was the most activated. So, squats do work calves a lot.

If you are a weightlifter or one who loves bodybuilding and wants to increase your calf size, then squats would be a go-to exercise. You can also focus on other practices that directly work calves.

Also Read: What Muscles Do Squats Work

Calf Engagement During Squats

The calf muscles have a significant role to play with quads, glutes, and hamstrings while performing squats. The calf muscles are counterbalancing the knees and the quad’s movement.

The gastrocnemius muscle in the calves balances the core lower body. Your squat form and the maximum weight you can squat also depend on this muscle.

If you are looking forward to adding some muscle mass to your lower body, regular squats will help. Squats are pretty effective in helping you lose excess fat or gain muscle. This is because squats burn plenty of calories and target multiple body parts.

Calf muscle development also depends on your body type. Ectomorphs might face difficulty gaining muscle mass, while it is easier for mesomorphs and endomorphs.

How To Grow Your Calves

Many lazy people give excuses like not having good enough genetics and not training their calves. That could be one of the factors, but no matter what, if you train your calves, they will grow for sure.

We must first understand the different muscles responsible for calf growth and how we can target them. The two essential muscles playing calf training are Gastrocnemius and Soleus.

Performing plantar flexion activates these two muscles. It’s the position where you point your toes downward while raising your heels off the floor.

You hit your gastrocnemius while straightening your leg fully, just like a regular stood-up calf raise. When you do a seated calf raise or a hamstring curl, you hit your soleus while having flexion in your knee due to a bend in the knee.

The fast-twitch muscle fibers (type 2) make up the gastrocnemius. These are the muscle fibers that experience more fatigue.

On the other hand, mostly the slow-twitch muscle fibers make up the soleus, which is less likely to experience fatigue.

It is essential to have both light and heavy calf days. People do around 6-10 reps on their heavy days while 12-20 reps on their light days. This helps you grow both your soleus and gastrocnemius muscles.

Developing and Strengthening the calves

Calf raises help specifically target the calves’ growth. It doesn’t spend much of your energy, and you can even do it on your tough workout days. Using weights will significantly improve your overall strength and mobility.

You can use calf raise variations like standing reverse calf raise and seated calf raise to target soleus rather than gastrocnemius.

Similarly, squats impact your calves on an overall level differently from calf raises. Squats might not target calves in isolation, but they act as a supporting muscle in your squat workout.

Squats promote the overall development of your calves, glutes, and thighs to grow and become more prominent. Footwear alterations like squat shoes or heel elevated shoes will impact differently in your calf muscles.

Which Exercises Target Your Calves 

There are several exercises that you can find on the internet to target your calves,

To grow your calves, you can go for Seated Calf Raise, Single Leg Calf Raise, Standing Barbell Calf Raise, Donkey Calf Raise, Weighted Calf Raise.

Leave a Comment