Calf Raises How | To Perform Them Correctly
How to Do Calf Raises
While well-shaped and toned calf muscles can make a pretty impression while playing baseball or wearing a nice pair of heels, there's much more to them: they perform the crucial function of maintaining the skeleton's proper alignment. Feel like getting your calves in shape? There are quite a few exercises that you can do in the comfort of your home. Read on to find out how to properly perform calf raises.
Practicing Standing Calf Raises
Stand on the edge of a stair step, or a step of any kind (as long as it's in a safe environment).Make sure the step is not very far up and close to the ground. You don't want to fall too far should you lose your balance.
- If you're using a step-aerobics platform, you might want to slide two risers beneath the step.
Stand straight, with your tailbone tucked in.Engage your core by pulling in your upper ribs and belly. Make sure that the balls of your feet are solidly planted on the edge of the step. Your heels should be over the edge.
- If you feel unstable, or like you're losing your balance, practice this method with a wall or railing near by.
- Place your hands on the wall or the railing.
Lift your heels until you're standing on your tippy toes.Distribute most of your weight onto the balls of your feet, and keep your legs straight.
Stay on your tippy toes for two seconds.Then, begin to lower your heels, and move your weight away from the balls of your feet. Lower your heels until they're below the step, or platform.
- You should be feeling your calf muscles stretch on the downward movement.
- Repeat this sequence until you feel tired.
Method 1 Quiz
What’s one example of a way you might injure yourself doing standing calf raises?
Practicing Dumbbell Calf Raises
Hold a dumbbell in each hand.It's always a good rule of thumb to start with lighter weights, and work your way up to heavier ones. Get two dumbbells of the same weight, and stand with your feet about shoulder width apart.
Keep a chair at arms' length in front of you.If you have trouble with your balance, it's a good idea to have a chair nearby with the back facing you. You can also perform this exercise while facing a wall.
Let your arms hang along the sides of your body.Make sure that your arms are below your shoulders, and keep a firm grip on the dumbbells.
Lift your heels up.Shift your weight onto the balls of your feet while keeping your legs straight. Continue to keep your arms alongside your body.
- There is no arm movement involved, as the weights are meant to train your calf muscles.
- While your legs should be straight, it's a good idea to keep a micro bend in your knees to avoid locking them up.
Slowly lower your heels back to the floor.Do this movement with as much control as possible.
- You should feel a nice stretch and little tension in your lower legs, particularly your calves.
Practice this exercise sequence twelve to fifteen times in a row.That's an adequate number of repetitions for most people, and should gradually strengthen your calf muscles.
Method 2 Quiz
True or False: You should focus your energy into your biceps when practicing dumbbell calf raises.
Practicing The Split Stance Overhead Calf Raise
Start with a lighter weight.For best results in this method, you'll need a plate weight, like you would find at the gym. Resist the urge to start with the heaviest weight you can manage. It's better to start with a lighter weight and work your way up.
Stand with your legs one in front of the other.In other words, your legs should be scissoring out, resulting in about a foot distance between both feet.
Hold the plate weight to your chest with both hands.This is the time to decide if the weight is too little or too much. Err on the side of caution, and go with a slightly lower weight than you might be able to hold.
Bend the front knee, with the knee over your ankle.Take a step back with your back knee so that the back leg is almost straight. Then, lift your back heel so that you're on the tippy toes of your back foot.
Raise your front heel.Both feet should now be on their tippy toes. Lower the heel of your front foot slowly until it's back on the floor. Keep the back heel lifted the entire time. Lift the front heel, hold it for a moment, then lower it back to the ground.
Repeat this exercise.Ideally, you should strive to practice this method of the calf raise a few times per week.
Method 3 Quiz
How much distance should you have between your front foot and and your rear foot?
QuestionHow many reps of calf raises should I do?
Personal TrainerPersonal TrainerExpert AnswerThree sets of 10-15 calf raises is a great start. Try single leg calf raises once that becomes easy.Thanks!
QuestionWhat do calf raises work out?
Personal TrainerPersonal TrainerExpert AnswerCalf raises work out the muscles in the back of the lower leg, which is known as the "calf."Thanks!
QuestionDo calf lifts work?
Personal TrainerPersonal TrainerExpert AnswerYes, when performed correctly, calf raises do strengthen the muscles in the back of the lower leg.Thanks!
QuestionDo calf raises increase your vertical?
Personal TrainerPersonal TrainerExpert AnswerNo, performing calf raises will not make you taller. Calf raises only strengthen the muscles in the back of the lower leg; they do not lengthen the leg.Thanks!
QuestionIf I do calf raises only, will my legs grow?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo your calves are only one part of your legs. You must also work on your quads and hamstrings. You should do other leg exercises such as squats, deadlift, lunges and the leg press.Thanks!
QuestionWill calf muscles help me dribble fast in soccer?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, all good soccer players have good calf development. They do calf raises and weightlifting as part of their training regiment.Thanks!
QuestionWill this add definition to my calves?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, it will help you get toned calf muscles, and it will strengthen your ankles to walk farther distances.Thanks!
QuestionHow often do I need to do the calf raises to see results?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you do 100 reps (10 sets of 10) 4 days a week, you should see results in about 4 weeks.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I make my calves a lot bigger?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerRun and hike on steep elevations.Thanks!
- Potential injuries to your Achilles Tendon may be incurred if this exercise is performed incorrectly. Be particularly careful—injuring this tendon may cause you lifelong problems.
- Those with poor balance should be careful when performing these exercises.
Things You Need
- Dumbbells (optional)
- Towel (optional)
- Plate Weight (optional)
Sources and Citations
- Videos provided by
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of How to Do Calf Raises was reviewed by on March 17, 2019.
Oct 6, 2019
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