Dumbbell Calf Raises

Exercise Information

  • Alternative Names: Standing dumbbell calf raise
  • Type: Strength
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Equipment: Dumbbells, weight plate/wooden block
  • Muscles Targeted: Calves, traps, glutes
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Average Number of Sets: 3-4 with 6-10 reps each
  • Variations: None
  • Alternative: Calf raise on a dumbbell, calf raises using bands

The dumbbell calf raises, as the name suggests, is a free-weight version of the standing calf raise. By holding a pair of dumbbells, you add resistance to the movement and make the exercise more challenging than the basic calf raise. After mastering this technique, you can also progress to a more difficult one-legged standing dumbbell calf raise.

Dumbbell Calf Raises Exercise Information

  • Alternative Names: Standing dumbbell calf raise
  • Type: Strength
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Equipment: Dumbbells, weight plate/wooden block
  • Muscles Targeted: Calves, traps, glutes
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Average Number of Sets: 3-4 with 6-10 reps each
  • Variations: None
  • Alternative: Calf raise on a dumbbell, calf raises using bands

How to do Dumbbell Calf Raises

Stand with your upper body straight and hold a pair of dumbbells (weighing about 70-100 lbs) by your sides. Place the balls of your feet on a weight plate or wooden block (about 3-4 inches tall) while extending your heels off it and touching the floor. Lift your heels off the ground by contracting your calves. Pause for 1 second at the top of the contraction. Slowly lower your heels to return to the initial position.

Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise Tips

  • You may use wrist wraps to keep the dumbbells from slipping out of the hands.
  • Keep your toes pointed inwards to target the outer head, outwards for emphasizing the inner head, or straight for targeting all the parts equally.
  • Avoid bending your knees so that you do not use momentum while rising onto your toes.

Alternative Exercises

  • Calf Raises on a Dumbbell
  • Calf Raises using Bands

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