Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredDumbbell
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypePush
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
Target Muscle Group


Calves Muscle Anatomy Diagram

One-Leg Seated Dumbbell Calf Raise Instructions

The one-leg seated dumbbell calf raise is another good exercise for those who don't have access to a seated calf raise machine or want to even build strength in their calves.

  1. Set up by placing a step or block at the end of a flat bench.
  2. Next, grasp a dumbbell and sit on the end of the bench.
  3. Put the ball of your left foot on the edge of the step/block and rest the end of the dumbbell on your thigh close to your knee.
  4. Let your heel drop as far as possible without hitting the floor. This is the starting position.
  5. Slowly raise your heel off the floor as far as possible.
  6. Squeeze the calf and pause. Then slowly lower back to the starting position.
  7. Repeat for desired reps, and then do the same for the right leg.

One-Leg Seated Dumbbell Calf Raise Tips

  • Always work your weakest leg first. In most cases, this is the left.
  • Don't let the heel touch the floor at any point throughout the set.
  • Pause and squeeze the calf muscle at the top of the movement for a count of 1-2 for added intensity.
Todd Wetzel
Posted on: Fri, 07/01/2022 - 07:32

I don't understand this exercises. It is similar to the standing calf raise, but the weight is so much less since it doesn't include my full body weight, therefore I don't feel hardly any strain on my calves. Am I doing something wrong? Thanks.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 07/07/2022 - 08:29

No, Todd, you're not. It's going to take a lot of weight to challenge the calf for strength. You could do longer negatives and pauses at the bottom and top, or you can use heavier dumbbells. For this, those are your best bets. If you choose the former, do 12 second reps.

3 second negative
3 second stretch
3 second contraction
3 second hold

Hope that helps.

Posted on: Sun, 06/30/2024 - 14:23

Just as information. The Calves have two different muscles, the gastrocnemius(round upper part of your calf) and soleus (long muscle underneath the gastrocnemius). When you do this exercise standing up, youre using the gastrocnemius and when you do this exercise seated you're using only the soleus, You say that you don't feel your calves because you're trying to feel it in the gastro, not the soleus. The soleus is more active when the knee is bent.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 06/30/2024 - 19:57

Thanks for the comment, Rony.

Posted on: Tue, 04/30/2019 - 19:00

This exercise look very exiting by the look of the guy.