Seated dumbbell one-leg calf raise exercise

Seated dumbbell one-leg calf raise

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Soleus
  • Synergists: Gastrocnemius
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Force: Push

Starting position

  1. Sit with the front of your right foot placed on top of a block or step in front of you. Hips and knees should be bent at a ninety-degree angle.
  2. Dip the heel of your right foot as low as it can go.
  3. Hold a dumbbell vertically on top of your right knee.


  1. Exhale as you lift your right heel as high as possible, pushing against the dumbbell’s weight.
  2. Keep your right heel lifted for 2 counts.
  3. Slowly lower it as you inhale.
  4. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.
  5. Repeat the exercise on your left foot.

Comments and tips

  • Engage your core to keep your torso upright throughout the exercise.
  • Your calves are made up of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. The seated dumbbell one-leg calf raise places more stress on the soleus than it does on the gastrocnemius.
  • If you find yourself having to lean back or laterally flex at the waist when performing the seated dumbbell one-leg calf raise, your dumbbell may be too heavy for you. Consider using a lighter dumbbell to perform the exercise with correct form.
  • If there are size and strength differences between your calves, perform this exercise first on your smaller or weaker calf, and do not perform more reps on your stronger calf. This will allow your weaker calf to catch up in strength.
  • The seated dumbbell one-leg calf raise may also be performed with both legs simultaneously, but doing it one leg at a time is recommended to execute it as properly and safely as possible.
  • The seated dumbbell one-leg calf raise can be used as an alternative to the machine seated one-leg calf raise if you do not have access to the seated calf raise machine.
  • See also the standing dumbbell one-leg calf raise and the machine seated calf raise.

Seated dumbbell one-leg calf raise video


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