Women’s Fitness Choose Their Favourite Calf Exercises

Woman performs calf stretch
(Image credit: Women’s Fitness)

When it comes to toning your legs, your calves deserve the same amount of attention as your thighs. Having strong and toned calf muscles makes your legs look amazing in high heels, and provide your body with a great foundation, helping boost your training and exercise performance. What's not to like?

Standing dumbbell calf raise

Woman demonstrates two positions of the standing calf raise with light dumbbells

(Image credit: Women’s Fitness)

Reps 20

How Stand upright holding a dumbbell in each hand, by your sides. With your toes pointing forwards, raise your heels off the floor by contracting your calves. Hold the contraction for a second. As you inhale, return to the starting position by slowly lowering your heels.

Why Standing exercises are good for targeting the gastrocnemius, the muscle that gives that curved definition just under the backs of your knees.

Tiptoe plie squat

Woman demonstrates two positions of the tiptoe plie squat

(Image credit: Women’s Fitness)

Reps 15

How Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, with your toes pointed out at 45°. Engage your core and hold your arms in front of your chest for balance. Lift your heels off the floor and squat, keeping your knees above your ankles . Pause, then squeeze your glutes to stand up and slowly lower your heels.

Why Target your inner thighs with a ballet-inspired move. Going on tiptoes also tones your calves, and strengthens your glutes.

Calf stretch


(Image credit: Unknown)

Hold 10-20 seconds

How Sit up straight on an exercise mat. Bend your left knee and place your left foot on the floor for support. Straighten your right leg and flex your ankle. Using a band, towel or your hand, pull the toes on your right foot toward you. Hold for 10-20 seconds, working out any tension in your calf, then switch sides and repeat.

Why Loosens calves and prevents cramp, which can increase your risk of injury.

This article first appeared in Women’s Fitness

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