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


Calves Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Seated Dumbbell Calf Raise Instructions

The seated dumbbell calf raise is a good exercise for those who don't have access to a seated calf raise machine.

  1. Set up by placing a step or block at the end of a flat bench.
  2. Next, grasp a pair of dumbbells and sit on the end of the bench.
  3. Put the balls of your feet on the edge of the step/block and rest the ends of the dumbbells on your thighs close to your knees.
  4. Let your heels drop as far as possible without hitting the floor. This is the starting position.
  5. Slowly raise your heels off the floor as far as possible.
  6. Squeeze the calves and pause, and then slowly lower your heels back to the starting position.
  7. Repeat for desired reps.

Seated Dumbbell Calf Raise Tips

  • Don't let your heels touch the floor at any time throughout the exercise.
  • Pause and squeeze the calves for a count of 1-2 at the top of the movement to add intensity.
Posted on: Tue, 12/15/2020 - 20:36

Do I need to do this workout with something under my legs like the thing he put his legs on in the video or can I just put my legs on the ground and do the calf raises?

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Posted on: Wed, 12/16/2020 - 09:18

Hey Talha - you'll get more range of motion if you put something under your feet. This could be a stack of plates, a small box, etc.

Posted on: Thu, 08/13/2020 - 10:56

I feel nothing anywhere when I do these for some reason even nothing in the calves

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Posted on: Fri, 08/14/2020 - 09:19

Hey Will

Make sure you don't have too much of your foot on the machine. Only the balls of your feet should be on the footpad, and you should be stretching your calves at the bottom and squeezing them (flexing) at the top.

Posted on: Thu, 06/18/2020 - 14:05

Why not just doing normal standing calf raises?

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Posted on: Fri, 08/14/2020 - 09:20

Hey Umair

Check out this article describing the differences between the 2.

Posted on: Wed, 05/12/2021 - 06:42

So if I'm reading that right, the seated version is claimed be the only exercise capable of targeting the soleus muscle in the calf. And yet in the very same article it is contradicted by the standing version claiming that if you don't keep you knees straight when standing, you'll spread the load across both soleus and gastrocnemius. If you're just going to do one calf exercise, surely stressing both would be better?

Posted on: Thu, 02/06/2014 - 05:17

any tips on how to do this with dumbbells that isn't flat ? i.e. the bars stick out past the weights. can't rest it on my lap comfortable.

Posted on: Thu, 11/05/2015 - 07:39

Fold a yoga mat (double, or triple) and put it across your knees/thighs. Rest your weights on it.