Thighs of a bodybuilder

10 Exercises to Develop a Strong, Powerful Lower Leg

Developing a strong, powerful lower body is important for a multitude of reasons. One area, however, that often gets neglected is the lower leg. In particular, the posterior side of the lower leg, which includes the calf muscles. More superficially you have the calf (gastrocnemius muscles) and beneath that is the soleus muscle. There is also the plantaris muscle and a handful of other smaller muscles which we will not discuss in this article.

Lower Leg Anatomy

The gastrocnemius is the most superficial of all the lower leg muscles making up the posterior leg. It has two heads –  a medial and lateral head, which converge to form a single muscle belly. The action of the muscle is plantar flexion. The soleus muscle is located deep to the gastrocnemius. It is large and flat, getting the name, soleus, because of the resemblance to a sole – a flat fish. The action is to also plantar flex the foot and ankle. The soleus is a wide, flat muscle that originates below your knee and runs down your lower leg, connecting to the achilles tendon above the heel.

Exercise Guidelines

When looking to work the solues, make sure to keep the knees bent at 90-degree. A great example of this is a seated calf raise machine. In terms of sets and repetitions, 3-4 sets and 10-20 repetition range will do the trick. As for the gastrocnemius, 4-5 sets of 6 to 12 repetition will work. Work the lower leg 1-2 times a week. Outside of the gym, running stadium stairs and hiking are also great ways to increase calf size.

The list of following Jefit exercises will work all aspects of the lower leg.

Jefit Lower Leg Exercises

Stay Strong Together

Jefit, named best strength app by Sports Illustrated, Esquire, GQ, Men’s Health, Greatest, Forbes Health, and many others. It offers a community responsible for 92,000,000 workouts! The app, which recently passed 10 million downloads, comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. The app has ability to track data, offer audio coaching cues, and can share strength and HIIT workouts with friends. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals.

Michael Wood, CSCS
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