Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise And Its Variations

The standing dumbbell calf raise is a good exercise for those who don’t have access to a calf raise machine or smith machine.

You can do this exercise right at home or at anyplace you like without a machine, using a dumbbell only.

Our calves contain two separate muscles: the soleus and gastrocnemius.

The gastrocnemius is the visible muscle of the calf, connecting to the knee and the soleus runs the entire length of the lower leg and lies underneath the gastrocnemius.

Standing calf raises focus on the gastrocnemius, and Sitting raises mainly target the soleus,

1. Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise

If you want to train the calf muscles with dumbbell only, then Standing dumbbell calf raise is one of the most suitable exercises for this. This exercise can be performed anywhere with a dumbbell only

There are many other variations of weighted calf raises, you just need to grab a barbell, a pair of kettlebell.

Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise

How To Do Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise

  1. Hold a weight in each hand. Stand up straight on stepper with your feet facing forward and placed hip-width apart.
  2. Keep a slight bend in your knee and hold your hands by your side. Raise your heels by pressing the balls of your feet into the ground.
  3. You should move your body upwards until you’re stood on your toes.
  4. Hold this position and then slowly lower your heels back to the ground.


  • Pause and squeeze for a count of 1-2 at the top of the movement for added intensity.
  • Keep the balls of your feet on the edge of the block/step. If you allow the balls of your feet to come in more, the exercise becomes easier.

2. Standing Dumbbell One Leg Calf Raise

The standing dumbbell one-leg calf raise is a very effective isolation calf exercise which targets the Gastrocnemius and Soleus muscles.

You can do the standing dumbbell one-leg calf raise on the floor if you don’t have a platform to perform the exercise from.

Standing dumbbell one-leg calf raise

How To Do Standing Dumbbell One Leg Calf Raise

  1. Hold a dumbbell by your side, in your left hand. With your left foot, stand on a platform, with the arch and heel of your foot suspending off.
  2. Grasp something with your right hand for stability. Exhale as you raise your heel by extending your ankle.
  3. Hold for a count and then slowly reverse the motion and lower your heel until you feel a mild stretch in your calf.
  4. Hold for a count of one. Repeat for more repetitions. Repeat with your right leg.


  • Keep the movement slow and under control.
  • Do not lock out your knee.

How to make Dumbbell Calf Raise easier

You can also do this exercise without the dumbbells, please have a look at our body weight Calf Raises exercise.

How to make Dumbbell Calf Raise more challenging

To make dumbbell calf raise more challenging, you could try single-legged calf raise, or you could increase the weight.

Slowing down the lowering (eccentric) part of the exercise is another way to gain muscle

How Many Standing Calf Raises Should You Do?

“If you’re a beginner, you can start by doing this exercise with a low weight for 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps.

As you get stronger, you can increase your reps and use heavier dumbbells. 3 to 4 sets of 12 to 15 reps is an excellent goal for growing your calf muscles.

Do these standing dumbbell calf exercises two or three times a week.

Can You Do This Move at Home?

Absolutely! You can do calf raise exercise right at home using a dumbbell only.

Are dumbbell calf raises effective?

Strength training with dumbbell calf raises is a very effective exercise, and it will help improve your performance during exercises that require explosive movements like sprinting and jumping.

Related Posts

Best Bodyweight Calf Exercises That You Can Do Anywhere

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