Calf Raises

Isolation exercise, Free weights




Required equipment

Main muscles

  • Lower leg: Short fibula muscle
    (Musculus peroneus brevis)
  • Lower leg: Long big toe flexor
    (Musculus flexor hallucis longus)
  • Lower leg: Long fibular muscle
    (Musculus fibularis longus)
  • Lower leg: Long toe extensor
    (Musculus extensor digitorum longus)
  • Lower leg: Soleus muscle
    (Musculus soleus)
  • Lower leg: Anterior tibial muscle
    (Musculus tibialis anterior)
  • Lower leg: Twin calf muscle
    (Musculus gastrocnemius)

Training plans

Calf Raises is a suitable substitute for similar exercises in or as a supplement to various training plans.

Calf Raises: Basics and alternatives

: Involved main muscle groups Calf Raises

Involved main muscle groups:
Calf Raises

You can perform Calf Raises with no equipment and just about anywhere. All you need is a stable elevated platform, like a step. The movement pattern is similar to other Calf Raise variations: stand upright, then raise and lower your heels to lift and lower your body. This exercise isolates and trains your lower legs.

Alternatives to Calf Raises without equipment include Fitness Band Calf Raises or Seated Calf Raises on a machine.

Correct execution

As mentioned earlier, you’ll need some kind of elevated platform that you can stand on safely. A stair step is probably the best choice. If you want to use a stool or chair at home, make sure it won’t tip over.

If you’d like to add weight to the exercise, simply hold dumbbells at your hips to make it more challenging.

Video tutorial

Elevated Calf Raises

Step-by-step instructions

Stand on the step with your toes slightly narrower than shoulder-width apart. Your heels should extend beyond the step.

Keep your back straight and maintain a slight arch in your lower back. You can place your hands on your hips or choose a posture that provides the best balance.

Lower your heels by bending your ankles to reach the starting position.

Raise your heels by extending your ankles as far as you can without losing balance or feeling uncomfortable. Hold the extended position for a brief moment, and then slowly and in a controlled manner, lower your body back to the starting position.

Common mistakes

Slow, steady, and controlled movement is the key to success with Calf Raises. Don’t let your body weight drop down forcefully, as it can cause you to slip and put unnecessary strain on your ankles.