Standing dumbbell one-leg calf raise

Exercise details

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

Starting position

  1. Hold a dumbbell by your side, in your left hand.
  2. With your left foot, stand on a platform, with the arch and heel of your foot suspending off.
  3. Grasp something with your right hand for stability.


  1. Exhale as you raise your heel by extending your ankle (plantar flexion).
  2. Hold for a count of two.
  3. Inhale as you slowly reverse the motion (dorsiflexion) and lower your heel until you feel a mild stretch in your calf.
  4. Hold for a count of one.
  5. Repeat for more repetitions.
  6. Repeat with your right leg.

Comments and tips

  • Keep the movement slow and under control.
  • Do not lock out your knee.
  • The point of holding for a count of one after lowering your heel is to dissipate all of the elastic energy that is stored in your Achilles tendon and thus prevent cheating.
  • Use the standing dumbbell one-leg calf raise to fix contralateral size and strength differences in your calve muscles.

Standing dumbbell one-leg calf raise video

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