T Nation

Does Calf Work Help DL's & Squats?


I know there are a few other calves post on here, and I browsed through a few of them (most of them are about achieving greater mass in the calf area), but wasn't able to get my question answered.....

I've been lifting religiously now for close to 7 months now (yeah, I know, not long at all), but I haven't put in any calf work. I do squats, front squats, deadlifts, nat. glute-hams, leg curls, lunges, etc. Nothing to isolate the calves though.

My question is: Does working the calves contribute to the amount I can deadlift and squat? Basically, am I missing out on lifting heavier because I've been avoiding the calf muscles??



It won’t help your other lifts, but you should be working them anyway. You don’t want to get another year down the road and realize your calves are severely lagging. It takes a loooong time to develop decent calves. Get a head start on it.


Agree with Jay. Calves don’t really contribute to your lifts but you should still pay attention to them. You don’t want big cut quads and puny little girl calves.


Thanks for the advice… I had a feeling they didn’t really contribute, but didn’t want to make assumptions here. I guess my first clue could be taken from Nate’s Cressey article today. If the calves were important to the strength of those lifts, I’m sure Cressey would’ve included them.

I will get on my calves however… Despite not having a problem with “big cut quads” yet, I’m hoping they will be in my future!

Thanks again,


I agree with everything else said, but ive also heard walking out the weight with squats becomes a little eaiser with calf work.


My primary calf work is heavy barbell standing calf raise and I would have to say this definitely contributes to the squat.