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Why Do Asians Have Big Calves? (Calf Genetics Explained!)

If you’re Asian, you may have noticed that yourself and your peers seem to have bigger calves than the average person.

But why is that?

That’s what we’re going to cover in this article.

Man with big calves walking up stairs

Why Do Asians Have Big Calves?


Assuming you don’t regularly train your calves in the gym, the most obvious reason why you have big calf muscles is likely due to genetics.

For example, if your parents have big calves, then you’re more likely to develop muscular calves as you grow into adulthood.

Also, genetics can make your calves appear bigger even if they’re not actually bigger.

It’s believed that the average Asian has shorter legs than the average Caucasian, which would make the calf muscle stand out more, giving it a bigger appearance in proportion to the rest of the leg muscles.

And if you have short achilles tendons, then your calves will naturally be lower on your legs which can make them more noticeable.

Body Shape

Your body composition can also change the appearance of your calf muscles.

If you’re a naturally slim person (which most Asian people are compared to Caucasians), then you carry lower levels of body fat.

And the lower body fat you have, the more your muscles will look defined.

(This is the reason why you need low levels of body fat to see your abdominals.)

Whereas the more body fat you carry, the less your muscles will stand out.

Physical Activity

Research suggests that Asian people walk much more than the average American.

Each time you walk, your calves get somewhat of a low intensity workout. So, by walking more, you’re developing your calf muscles more which could also explain why Asians have larger calves.

You obviously won’t develop your calf muscles as much as training them in a gym, but over the course of a few years, you’ll notice some changes to your calves if you walk often (which Asian people seem to do).

Is Asian Calf Size Mostly Genetic?

While there isn’t any conclusive evidence, it’s widely accepted that small calves are the result of your genetics.

That isn’t to say that you can’t increase the size of your calves through exercise – it’s just that you might have to train them harder than someone who has naturally bigger calves.

Since Asians tend to walk a lot, they naturally have bigger calves which means their children will often have bigger calves due to genetics.

Conclusion: Why Do Asians Have Bigger Calves?

In summary:

  • Asian people tend to have bigger calves due to their body shape, genetics, and increased physical activity compared to Americans.
  • While calf size is largely determined by genetics, you can still grow your calves through resistance training.

That’s all for this article, but why do some people have big thighs with small calves?

Hope this helped!