Recently I have been focusing on walking for steps, and moving more? With this the question popped in my head of if walking can increase muscle mass on the calves?

If so is there a certain way to walk that can target the calves more?

  • on an higher incline?
  • Heel to toe emphasis or more on the front foot?
  • Loaded with a back pack to slowly burn more calories and progressively overload?

I am currently cutting down from 18-20% body fat to the goal of 12% and I know that will affect my ability to put on muscle. Once my cutting cycle is over calves are a focus of mine, and running for 2 miles twice a week causes brief soreness, so would walking be a good way to grow them.

2 Answers 2


Absolutely, walking can be a great way to build up your calves, especially with a few tweaks. Walking on a higher incline forces your calves to work harder, which can help increase muscle mass. According to a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology, incline walking leads to greater lower leg muscle activation compared to flat walking. You can also try emphasizing a heel-to-toe motion to really engage your calf muscles throughout your stride, effectively targeting different parts of the calves. Adding a weighted backpack can further increase the intensity, making your muscles work harder and burn more calories, which aligns with the principles of progressive overload, a key concept in strength training outlined by the American College of Sports Medicine.

While cutting, gaining muscle can be tricky due to reduced calorie intake, but maintaining muscle mass is definitely achievable with these methods. Once you're back to a normal or surplus caloric intake, you might see even more growth. Keep moving and keep those goals in sight!

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    Commented May 3 at 16:58

Yes, walking can contribute to building muscle mass in the calves, especially if you're walking briskly or uphill. When you walk, your calf muscles are constantly engaged as they help propel you forward with each step. This repetitive movement can stimulate muscle growth and strength over time, particularly if you gradually increase the intensity or duration of your walks.

However, if your primary goal is to significantly increase calf muscle mass, you may want to incorporate additional exercises specifically targeting the calves, such as calf raises, jumps, or using resistance bands. These exercises can provide more targeted stimulation and overload to the calf muscles, potentially leading to faster and more noticeable gains in muscle size.

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