The Only 5 Resistance Band Exercises You Need for Toned Calves

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All you need is a resistance band to tone your calves.
Image Credit: Ilona Shorokhova/iStock/GettyImages

You squat to train your glutes, you lunge to train your quads and you deadlift to train your hamstrings. But where do calves fit into your leg-day routine?

Doing endless calf raises isn't the best (or most exciting) way to lift and sculpt these muscles. Instead, target your calves by adding a resistance band and standing on your toes during some familiar lower-body exercises.

On your next leg day, give your calves some much-deserved TLC with these five resistance band exercises, courtesy of Samuel Chan, physical therapist at Bespoke Treatments in New York.

Move 1: Banded Ankle Pumps

Move 1: Banded Ankle Pumps
Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com/Samuel Chan
Type Strength
Activity Resistance Band Workout
Region Lower Body
  1. Begin seated on the ground with your right knee bent, foot on the floor and left leg extended straight. Loop a band around the ball of your left foot.
  2. Holding the other end of the band in your hands, press your left toes away from you as if you're pumping a gas pedal.
  3. Pause for a few moments.
  4. Then bring the toes back to face the ceiling.
  5. Make sure to do the same number of reps on each side.

Move 2: Standing Calf Raise With Ankle Band

Move 2: Standing Calf Raise With Ankle Band
Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com/Samuel Chan
Type Strength
Activity Resistance Band Workout
Region Lower Body
  1. Begin standing with feet hip-width apart, back flat and core braced.
  2. Wrap a resistance band around your ankles, looping around the bottom of your heels.
  3. Lift up on the balls of your feet.
  4. Pause here for a few moments.
  5. Return to the starting position.

Move 3: Banded Soleus Raise

Move 3: Banded Soleus Raise
Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com/Samuel Chan
Type Strength
Activity Resistance Band Workout
Region Lower Body
  1. Stand with your feet at hip-width apart, back flat and core braced.
  2. Loop a resistance band above your knees.
  3. Push your hips back and squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  4. Holding this squat, come up onto the balls of your feet.
  5. Pause here for a moment.
  6. Bring your heels back to the floor.
  7. Repeat these calf raises while holding a squat.

Tip

If you're struggling to keep your balance, hold onto the back of a chair or counter for extra stability.

Move 4: Banded Marches With Calf Raise

Move 4: Banded Marches With Calf Raise
Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com/Samuel Chan
Type Strength
Activity Resistance Band Workout
Region Lower Body
  1. Start standing tall with feet hip-width apart.
  2. Loop a resistance band around the balls of your feet.
  3. Raise your right knee up toward the ceiling.
  4. Simultaneously, come up onto the balls of your left foot.
  5. Return to the starting position and then switch sides, alternating back and forth.

Move 5: Banded Side Steps With Calf Raise

Move 5: Banded Side Steps With Calf Raise
Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com/Samuel Chan
Type Strength
Activity Resistance Band Workout
Region Lower Body
  1. Stand tall with a band looped around the arches of your feet.
  2. Come up onto the balls of your feet in a calf raise.
  3. Step your right foot to the right a few steps.
  4. Repeat this motion, stepping to the left, keeping your feet at least hip-width apart.
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