Calf Training Exercise Alternative.

If you have a garage gym you probably don’t have a machine to train calves as seen in commercial gyms. You probably have the bare essentials. As long as your bare essentials are dumbbells, barbells and weights, plenty weights, then you’re set for anything. Don’t skip calf training now. I will like to show you one exercises just for the garage gym junkie, or use this exercise in the commercial gym to spice up your training. This exercise is better than any commercial gym machine according to me and my dumbells. Commercial gym machines are very expensive and are great for isolating the calves but as you know, I don’t like isolation exercises. Ponder on this; where in life will you need to use your calves in isolation? Me – never. Without further ado, here is a multi joint calf exercise.

Dumbbell calf raises shrug.

This is my favourite calf exercise. Here, training calves have finally become a challenge. A calf exercise that will increase skill, balance, core strength and grip strength while systematically increasing the weight lifted. After all, a increase in strength equals a increase in muscle size.


Precaution: start with a light weight as your core muscles and balance won’t be developed yet.

Muscles trained: Calves, trapezius, back erectors, core, foreman’s and mental toughness.

  1. Grab two dumbbells heavy enough to be able to complete approximately 20 repetitions. Don’t use straps here. Use your grip strength alone to hold the weight. Squat, then up until you’re standing up straight with the dumbbells at your side.
  2. Walk towards an elevated platform approximately 3 inches high. I use the edge of a bench. Place the balls of your feet over this elevated platform with your heals still on the ground.
    Dumbbell calf raise shrug feet position

    Dumbbell calf raise shrug start
  3. Raise your heels off the ground and into a full calf flex. Also shrug the dumbbell even further, as high as possible.

    Dumbbell calf raise shrug top
  4. Shrug down first and then let your heels touch the ground.

    Dumbbell calf raise shrug
  5. Repeat (try your hardest with Progress Weight Training) for 20 repetitions. Once you can do 20 of these increase the weight a little and try and do 20 again the next time.

    Only one warmup set and one set to failure required here. I recommend doing this twice a week. You will notice your strength, balance and skill will increase and hence bigger badder calves that will be able to rip up your favourite Reebok CrossFit shoes.

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