The standing calf raise exercise targets your calf muscles, particularly the larger, outermost muscle that is responsible for the shape and size of your calves.
Starting Position: Stand 6 -12″ away from a wall with your feet hip-width apart and toes facing forward. Place your hands on the wall, shoulder height.
Upward Phase: Exhale. Slowly rise up on to your toes, lifting your heels off the floor. Keep your knees straight. Do not allow the feet to rotate. Use your hands on the wall to support your balance. Hold the raised position briefly.
Downward Phase: Inhale and slowly lower your heels back to the floor.
Exercise Variation (1): Single-leg Calf Raise: From your starting position, bend your left knee to lift your left foot off the floor. Perform single-leg calf raises. Repeat with your right leg.
Exercise Variation (2): Modified Internal and External Foot Position: Turn your feet inward (to 10 and 2 o’clock ) or turn your feet outward (to the same clock positions) and perform your calf raises with both feet or with a single leg. Turning your feet inward places more emphasis on the medial (inner) muscles while turning your feet outward places more emphasis on the lateral (outer) muscles.
The gastrocnemius (major calf muscle) contains a higher percentage of fast-twitch fibers thus is better suited to more explosive training. Therefore, once you have mastered your technique these raises can be performed more explosively (with greater power and force) so you can gain greater benefits from the exercise.