Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise

The standing dumbbell calf raise is a popular exercise to target the calf muscles of the lower leg, and in particular the gastrocnemius muscles. It can be performed for time or for reps, either two dumbbells, or one if balance is a problem and you would like to use your free hand to hold a fixed object.


  1. Stretches and targets the calf muscles to add size and strength
  2. Can alter tempo or add pauses to increase intensity
  3. Using weight allows tracking and periodization of training
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Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise Images


Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise Instructions

Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise muscle diagram
  1. Stand with your torso upright holding two dumbbells in your hands by your sides. Place the ball of the foot on a sturdy and stable wooden board (that is around 2-3 inches tall) while your heels extend off and touch the floor. This will be your starting position.
  2. With the toes pointing either straight (to hit all parts equally), inwards (for emphasis on the outer head) or outwards (for emphasis on the inner head), raise the heels off the floor as you exhale by contracting the calves. Hold the top contraction for a second.
  3. As you inhale, go back to the starting position by slowly lowering the heels.
  4. Repeat for the recommended amount of times.

Note: As you become stronger you may need to use wrist wraps to avoid having the dumbbells slip out of your hands.