How To Perform A Calf Raise
There’s a lot to accomplish on leg day, but one muscle group that you should plan to include is the calves. Click the screen above if you haven’t already seen my video demonstration of this exercise!
The calf raise is an exercise that works the calves (hence the name) and can be performed virtually anywhere.
The lower half of our legs tends to be on display during the warmer months, and well-sculpted calves look great on men AND women. And ladies, who needs high heels when your legs are naturally sexy?
To perform this exercise properly you need any of the following…
All you really need to perform this exercise is a step, although advanced lifters may want to grab a heavy dumbbell and/or perform the exercise on a single leg. Because the equipment requirements are so minimal, this is one exercise you can easily perform at home.
All individuals can perform this exercise—beginner through advanced, all levels.
Description of action:
- Position your toes and the balls of your feet on a step with your heels hanging off. Because your body will be in an unstable position, perform this near a wall, railing, or other sturdy object for balance.
- Rise up on your balls of the feet and lift your your heels as high as you can. Keep your knees as straight as you can during the exercise.
- Pause at the top of the movement (i.e., when you are on your toes).
- Lower the heels back down to starting position and repeat the movement.
You should aim to perform this exercise for higher repsAdd a Tooltip Text, usually 12-20, or until you feel a “happy little burn” in your calves, as I like to call it. The calf muscles contain a larger number of endurance muscle fibers, so higher reps will ensure that you’ve worked them hard.
…and I love to see you working hard!
Perform three setsAdd a Tooltip Text and rest 60 seconds between each one.
- This movement can put your body in an unstable position, so perform the exercise near a stable object you can easily latch on to, if needed.
- Try to keep your knees as straight as possible, to ensure the calves are doing the work, and not the quadriceps (thighs) and glutes (booty).
- A COMMON mistake is rushing through the exercise; count to 2 in your head to rise to your toes, pause for second, and count to 2 again to lower your heels.
- Bouncing, or using momentum and speed reduces the effectiveness of the exercise. Slower is better here…and sometimes we like to take things slow.
Variations On The Calf Raise:
- You can make this exercise harder by holding dumbbells (or other weights), while standing on two feet.
- Advanced trainees can perform the exercise one leg at a time, with or without weights.
Make sure you check out the video for your options!