Seated Machine Calf Raises

Isolation exercise, Machine




Required equipment

Main muscles

  • Lower leg: Short fibula muscle
    (Musculus peroneus brevis)
  • Lower leg: Long big toe flexor
    (Musculus flexor hallucis longus)
  • Lower leg: Long fibular muscle
    (Musculus fibularis longus)
  • Lower leg: Long toe extensor
    (Musculus extensor digitorum longus)
  • Lower leg: Soleus muscle
    (Musculus soleus)
  • Lower leg: Anterior tibial muscle
    (Musculus tibialis anterior)
  • Lower leg: Twin calf muscle
    (Musculus gastrocnemius)

Training plans

Seated Machine Calf Raises is a suitable substitute for similar exercises in or as a supplement to various training plans.

Seated Machine Calf Raises: Basics and alternatives

: Involved main muscle groups Seated Machine Calf Raises

Involved main muscle groups:
Seated Machine Calf Raises

Seated Machine Calf Raises are a popular way to isolate and train your calf muscles, and you’ll find them in almost every gym. The exercise is pretty simple: weight is placed on your thighs through knee pads, and you move the weight by extending and flexing your ankles.

This exercise is suitable for both beginners and advanced athletes, as it allows for relatively heavy weight to be lifted due to the high degree of isolation. If your gym has the necessary equipment, you can also try the standing version of the exercise or the even rarer Donkey Calf Raises on the machine.

You can perform Seated Calf Raises with dumbbells or a barbell, both seated and standing. You can also do this exercise with a fitness band or without any equipment at home.

Correct execution

The execution of the exercise is generally the same, regardless of the machine used (see below). However, there may be slight differences in machine construction depending on the manufacturer, such as whether the seat pad moves or is fixed, or the angle and length of the footrests.

It’s important not to confuse Seated Machine Calf Raises with calf raises in the leg press machine. While both exercises isolate the calf muscles, the seat and back pad settings in the leg press machine are optimized for pressing with the legs.

Video tutorial | Seated Calf Raise Machine O1

Step-by-step instructions

Sit on the seat pad of the machine and position your knees under the thigh pad.

Place your feet firmly on the designated footrests.

Adjust the knee pad to rest directly on your thighs.

Extend your ankles and press against the knee pads with some tension. Release the lock and let the weight rest on your legs.

Flex your ankles and bring the weight down. You are now in the starting position.

Extend your ankles and raise the weight at the knee pad. Hold the extended position for a moment and then lower the weight slowly and in a controlled manner.

Common mistakes

The potential for error in this exercise is relatively low due to the narrow, predetermined range of motion. It’s important to perform the movement in a controlled manner without any swinging. Don’t let the weight suddenly drop onto your ankles without resistance, but maintain enough tension to protect your joints and tendons.

The movement should also involve only ankle flexion and extension. This means only your knees should move upwards, and you should avoid using your upper body to lift heavy weights.