Primary Muscle Group: Gastrocnemius & Solues
Secondary Muscle Group:
Equipment Needed: Calf Raise Machine or a step to hang off
The Benefits of Calf Raises
Seated calf raises are an exercise targeting the calf muscles of the lower leg, particularly the soleus muscle. It’s usually performed for moderate to high reps, such as 8-12 reps per set, and occasionally for very high burnout-focused sets of 50-100 total reps.
The calves can be a stubborn muscle group for a lot of people, so it’s important to experiment with several different angles when performing calf raises.
The seated calf raise can be incorporated into your leg workouts and full body workouts.
Some key benefits of calf raises are;
Builds stronger, more muscular calves.
Easy to add or subtract resistance.
Simple to alter the tempo or add pauses to make more difficult.
If you are looking for other exercises that are the best for building muscle or wanting to lose body fat then you should check our Free Workout Plan or our Workout Plans With Coaching for professionally designed workout plans that have been proven to get results.
The Risks of doing Calf Raises
When doing Back Extensions, it’s important to adjust the leg settings on the back extension machine. If your legs are straightened or bent too much, you are at risk for injury. Also, if you are using added weight, when you return an upright position, lower weight completely before leaning back again.
Focus on maintaining a straight spine throughout the movement because hyperextending and arching your spine as you lean back will put stress on your back, putting you at risk of an injury.
How To Do Calf Raises
1. Take a seat on the machine and place the balls of your feet on the platform with your toes pointed forward - your heels will naturally hang off. Position the base of your quads under the knee pad and allow your hands to rest on top.
2. Extend your ankles and release the safety bar.
3. Lower the heels by dorsiflexing the ankles until the calves are fully stretched.
4. Extend the ankles and exhale as you flex the calves.
5. Repeat for the above steps for the desired number of repetitions.
For Perfect Technique
Keep the repetitions slow and controlled. Limit momentum and pause at the top to emphasize the contraction.
If the knee isn’t entirely locked out then ensure the position doesn’t change during the duration of the repetition.
Limit depth of the heels if you feel any sort of stretch through the bottom of the foot during the exercise.
Try to move through the ball of the foot rather than the base of the toes.
Once you have mastered the Seated Calf Raises exercise you can try alternative exercises that target similar muscle groups such as;
How To Do Calf Raises On A Leg Press Machine
1. Load the machine with the desired weight and take a seat.
2. Sit down and position your feet on the sled with a shoulder width stance.
3. Take a deep breath, extend your legs, but keep the safeties locked (if possible).
4. Position your feet at the base of the platform and allow the heels to hang off.
5. Lower the heels by dorsiflexing the ankles until the calves are fully stretched.
6. Drive the weight back to the starting position by extending the ankles and flexing the calves.
7. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
How To A Donkey Calf Raise
1. Place an aerobic step or weight plate on the floor a couple of feet behind a railing or other sturdy, waist-high object.
2. Holding the railing with both hands, fold forward at your hip joints, and place the balls of your feet on the far edge of the step.
3. Slowly lower your heels as far as possible toward the floor, pausing for a one-count in the stretched position.
4. Lift your heels as high as possible, squeezing your calves at the top of the move, and hold for a one-count.
5. Take a full three-count to lower your heels to the floor, and repeat.