Like the rest of our body, our calves are also made up of cells. Some have big calves, while others have skinny calves.
Let us explore the topic of whether or not people of Asian descent have larger calves than other races and how race affects the size of one's calf muscles and what factors contribute to variation in calf muscle size.
It has been observed by many people in different parts of the world that Asians have larger calves than other races.
This observation may be due to a number of factors including the following list below, but there is still no conclusive evidence to suggest which factor contributes most to variation in calf muscle size.
Factors that may affect the growth of calves
Genetic changes are often based on your parents or siblings. You can't change everything about your body, but you can alter some features.
Short Achilles tendons, for instance, could make your calf muscle seem larger. This is because the calf muscle has to go down lower in order to meet the shortened tendon attachment point.
On the other hand, if you have a long tendon, it will reach up your leg further. This means the muscle in your calf will be higher up on the leg and may look smaller.
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Overall Body Shape and Composition
Calves may also look larger, smaller, or more or less muscular or fat in this area, due to the amount of muscle or fat that exists there.
In pear shapes, for instance, the lower body is typically larger and the upper body is petite, which can make the calf seem bigger.
The reverse holds true for someone with more of an apple body shape: their upper body is larger and their lower body is smaller, so their calves are smaller.
It's no secret that physical activities that require intense leg power, like sprinting and jumping, tend to make your calves larger.
These workouts can include high-intensity exercises that target the upper body and lower body, or those that emphasize strength. The inclines on the treadmill and hill running you do on a daily basis will help build up the muscles in your calves, making your calves bigger.
- Jumping rope generates a lot of power and will build your calf muscles
- The step machine and stair climbing exercises target the calf muscles, helping you to stay in shape.
- You will increase the size of your muscles by using heavier weights and doing fewer repetitions.
Can Working Out Make Your Calves Larger?
Most people start lifting to increase their biceps or calves, but not many know the other muscle groups that affect calf size.
Genetics, age and body weight are all factors for low calf size.
A good way to develop your calf muscles is by performing exercises that target them in particular.
By giving these muscles resistance during an exercise, you force them to work harder and get more tone and strength. You will likely notice that your calves often become bigger when you do this.
Get the approval of your doctor or a personal trainer before starting a new exercise routine.
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How to Get Bigger Calves
Calf muscles are important for stabilization of the ankle. They also contribute to the force in your push-off phase, which is important for running, walking and other activities.
They are located behind the knee and on the back of your lower leg. The most common exercises for calf muscles are:
1. Double-Leg Calf Raise
Classic calf raises use your own body weight to strengthen and tone your calves. It's a one-move wonder!
Starting position: It's best if you stand next to a wall for support and stability. Place your feet shoulder-width apart and turn your toes outwards so that they make contact with the floor. Keep your knees in a nice, level position to avoid any joint problems.
Action: Push down into both of your feet so that you can slowly rise up into the air. Keep contracted in your abdominal muscles so that you will go straight and not move forward or backward.
2. Single-Leg Calf Raise
By doing calf raises on one leg, you can lift heavier weights, which in turn helps strengthen your calf muscle even more.
Starting position: Stand near a wall and balance yourself on one leg. Position the other one behind you and be sure to keep it up, you won't want anything to happen to it! Make sure your ankle, knee and hip are aligned vertically to avoid future injuries.
Action: Lift up your upper body by pushing down on the front of your foot. Try not to tilt your abdominal muscles forward or backwards as you do this.
3. Seated Calf Raise
You can do this calf-growing exercise at home, or even at the gym on a specialized calf machine. This will work both your gastrocnemius and soleus muscles.
Starting position: Ideally, you want to sit on a firm and sturdy chair with your feet firmly on the floor which will help prevent back problems. Keep your knees parallel to the ground. Extend both legs in front of you and push against the ground or have someone on either side of your thighs provide resistance. Sit up straight and, as you bend your knees, don't let them come into or away from each other. Keep a small curve in the back by bending forward at a 90-degree angle.
Action: Exhale and lift your heels off the ground, then inhale and lower them.
4. Improving your calves with sports
Sports is a great way of achieving both a stronger and more toned calf. The following sports will help you achieve this:
Activities like running, walking, and hiking are excellent exercises for strengthening your calves. The steeper the climb you make, the harder it is for your calf muscles to keep up.
- Running sports that include jumping and pushing off your calf muscles such as soccer, basketball, or tennis will help you to tone up those calves.
- Dance classes, such as step and hip-hop, will give your calves a workout every time you go from standing on the floor to bending down with your knees and pushing off the ground.
- Swimming not only involves the calf muscles but also works the quads, hamstrings and other leg muscles. Physical activity can help us keep fit and it's a great way to stay healthy. It's also a low-impact workout that can help you increase the strength in your calves if you're taking it easy on your recovery from an injury.
Get the look of toned calf muscles with safe weight loss using a calorie-controlled diet and regular exercise.
So, Do Asians Have Bigger Calves Than Other Races?
In contrast to the popular myth, the answer is, No.
The size of Asian calves is a subject that has been debated for years. We have all heard the old wives’ tales that Asians have larger calves because of their diet. However, science has not found any correlation between diet and calf size.
While the science is not clear on whether or not there is a correlation between diet and calf size, the general consensus is that there are many factors that affect calf size. These factors include genetics, bodyweight, muscle mass, age and gender.