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Calf Exercises - Calf Raises

Exercise Name:
Calf Raises.

Purpose: To develop the calves.

Target Muscle Group(s): The primary muscle group being worked are the calf muscles, specifically the Plantaris; Gastrocnemius, medial head; Gastrocnemius, lateral head; and the Soleus.


Instructions: Proper Calf Raises Technique

1. Grab a dumbbell in one hand.
2. Stand on a block/wedge with both feet. Use your other hand for balance and support.
3. Adjust your feet so that just your toes are on the block. Your heels should be in suspended in space.
4. Lift one foot off the block, as we will be doing calf raises one leg at a time. The off-leg should be bent at roughly 90 degrees or so. You could place the off-foot lightly behind the upper calf of the calf being worked.
5. Lower your heal towards the floor as far as it can comfortably go. You should feel a good stretch at the bottom of the movement.
6. Rise up on your toes using your calf muscle.
7. At the top of the movement pause and contract your calf muscle hard.
8. Once the set is completed switch legs and repeat steps 1 through 7.

Instruction Comments:

1. Breathe out while rising up on your toes, and breathe in when lowering your heal towards the ground.
2. Your knees should remain slightly flexed throughout the entire range of motion.
3. To develop the upper calf more, hold the contraction at the top of the movement for a second longer. You could also do partial reps starting from the foot parallel to the floor position to the top of the movement.
4. To develop the lower calf more, do partial reps at the lower range of motion.

Also Known As: One-Leg Toe Raises, Standing Calf Raises, Standing Machine Calf Raises
Exercise Type: Strength Training, Weight Loss, Toning, Sports Training
Force: Push
Exercise Level: Beginner
Mechanics Type: Isolation Exercise

Calf Raise Variations: Toe pointed inwards (emphasizes the outer calf); toe pointed outwards (emphasizes the inner calf); seated calf raises; using a Standing Calf Raise Machine; Standing Barbell Calf Raises (this is done without any block and with the assistance of a spotter to ensure that you don't tip during the exercise)

Safety Precautions:

1. Be sure to keep your knees flexed at all times.
2. To prevent tearing the calf muscle and the lower range of the movement be sure to warm up and stretch the calves before doing your work sets.

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