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Indirect Effect on Calves From Squatting

How much indirect work do calves receive from squatting? I know some powerlifters who never do any calf work that have huge calves and do nothing but squat and deadlift.

Your calves definitely get work when performing squats however you need to remember that powerlifters are putting up tremendous amounts of weight and are eating quite a bit to support that growth.

Also, range of motion is especially important if you want to incorporate your calves into your full squat. The larger the range, the more incorporated your calves will be into your squat.

Dependent on your goals direct calf work, in addition to your squatting program, will always benefit you in your development.

Hope that helps.


They dont have large calves because they squat alot. They squat alot there for they weigh alot and just walking around at thier weight will give some people large calves. Also these powerlifters have great genetics in general to squat the weight they do so thier calves might grow from just about anything.

I read the first time Andy Bolton deadlifted he did 600, should I expect to just sit on my ass and one day deadlift 600? I mean it worked for him…


Your calves get very little work from just squats and deads alone. During a 2 year period or so when my squat went up about 200 lbs my calves grew a massive 1/2 inch and they were small to begin with. Some people have genetically big calves.

If you don’t, then you need to train them specifically with weights or with exercises that put a lot of stimulus on them.

If you want to get more specific when you squat you extend your knee (the hard part) so the calves do nothing there and there is a little bit of movement at the ankle, it depends more on your form.

The movement at the ankle is usually the result of the tibia pushing forward, not the foot pushing down, so there is not that much stimulus on the calves from a squat. There is even less stimulus in the deadlift. At most you could call the calves a stabilizer in a squat and deadlift.