Dumbbell calf raise exercise is a great exercise for strengthening your calves, as many people neglect this muscle group.

Adding this exercise to your lower body workout routine will help to round out the session.

Dumbbell calf raises are also a good exercise for helping to improve your balance and agility as well.

Do this towards the end of the workout program as the calves are used as synergists for any of the other standing lower body exercises you do, so you won’t want to tire them out prior to doing those major compound exercises.

Dumbbell Calf Raises Exercise How To

  • Get into a standing position on a step or weight plate with the heels hanging off, holding a set of dumbbells in either hand.  If you struggle with balance, consider holding just one dumbbell in one hand and using the other hand to grab onto a nearby object to assist with balance.
  • Keeping the body upright and the back straight, head looking forward, rise up onto the toes until the calf muscles come to a complete contraction.
  • Pause at the top of the exercise for a brief second to increase the tension on the muscle and then slowly lower back to the starting position.
  • Continue on until all reps are completed.

Form and Technique

When performing the dumbbell calf raise, you’ll want to be sure that you keep the head looking forward at all times.

You might find it helps with your balance if you look straight into a mirror, focusing on keeping your gaze straight at all times.

Also be sure that you do let the calves move past parallel at the bottom of the exercise.

This will place extra stretch on the calf muscle, increasing the range of motion that you lift through while ensuring optimal muscular development.

Variations: Seated Calf Raise, Single Leg Calf Raise, Barbell Calf Raises

Routine for Strength:  3 sets x 12-15 reps

Routine for Muscle Gains:  4-5 sets x 6-8 reps

Dumbbell Calf Raises

How To Do Dumbbell Calf Raises