Standing Calf Raise

Why Should You do Standing Calf Rasie?

The calves consist of two muscles. The outer two-part muscle, Gastrocnemius, originates in the lower part of the femur, and the inner muscle Soleus, which begins below your knee on the calf and tibia. Both muscles then attach down through the heel tendon in your heel bone. Because Gastrocnemius attaches over your knee, it will be activated more in a standing calf press when the leg is straight, while Soleus is activated more in a sitting calf press. This is why you need to do both exercises when it’s time for calf training.

Exercise Details for Standing Calf Raise

  • Primary Muscle
  • Equipment
  • Level


Stand on a few weight plates in a smith machine (machine with a fixed barbell) with the bar behind the neck or in a machine intended for calf press. It is also possible to do the exercise at home without a machine in, for example, a staircase, but make sure to stay in so that the balance does not limit the training. It would help if you stood straight and steady and with your toes and the front of your foot on the elevation. Do not sway the back but keep it neutral and tighten the torso. Keep in mind that you need space so that the heel can go all the way down until the calves are fully extended.

From the starting position, lower the heels to the floor to fully extend the calf muscles. Hold for a few seconds in this bottom position before pressing yourself up on your toes again. Only the calves will work in this exercise up and down. The knees and other parts of the body must be fixed. Push all the way up and hold for a few seconds in the top position before lowering your body again.

This is an exercise that is suitable for many repetitions rather than with heavy weights.

Perform this exercise slowly, both up and down.

Tips for Standing Calf Raise

  • Standing calf raise mainly trains the Gastrocnemius, which is the outer two-headed calf muscle
  • Use a specific machine for the exercise or a Smith Machine standing on weight plates with the bar behind your neck
  • You should stand with your toes and the front part of your feet on an elevation
  • Perform the exercise in a full movement both up and down, you will feel weaker with “full range of motion” but exercise more effectively
  • Perform the exercise slowly in both directions
  • Perform the exercise in a calm and slow manner, always with tension in the muscle you are exercising
  • Feel free to stretch your calf for a few seconds in the bottom position
  • Do not sway the back during the exercise, it should remain straight
  • Do not bend your knees, only the calves should work in this exercise
  • Hold on to something with your hands, it should not be a balance exercise
  • Perform the exercise with many reps instead of using too heavy weights

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