Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.: The calf raise is an exercise you can do with dumbbells to work the calf muscles. The calf muscles are located in the back of the lower legs. Strengthening your calf muscles with the calf raise exercise will help protect your Achilles tendon and calf from injury.
Nicole L. Campbell: To do a calf raise with dumbbells, hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Let your arms hang straight below your shoulders. Rise up onto your toes, then slowly return to the starting position. You'll feel tension in the muscles in the back of your lower legs.
When you're doing calf raises, keep your back and knees straight. If you have trouble balancing, use a chair or pole for added stability.
For most people, one set of 12 to 15 repetitions is adequate.
Remember, for the best results, keep your knees straight and your movements smooth and controlled.