Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredMachine
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypePush (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
    None
Target Muscle Group

Calves

Calves Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Seated Calf Raise Overview

The seated calf raise is a variation of the machine calf raise and an exercise used to isolate the muscles of the calves.

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. You may also want to consider training the calves with a high training frequency.

The seated calf raise can be incorporated into your leg workouts and full body workouts.

Seated Calf Raise Instructions

  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 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 assigned number of repetitions.

Seated Calf Raise Tips

  1. Keep the repetitions slow and controlled. Limit momentum and pause at the top to emphasize the contraction.
  2. Limit depth of the heels if you feel any sort of stretch through the bottom of the foot during the exercise.
  3. Try to move through the ball of the foot rather than the base of the toes.
29 Comments
davbuff
Posted on: Sat, 01/18/2020 - 07:06

With having a knee replacement in my future and not want to be in any further pain, will doing the seated calf raises hurt my knee?

John
Posted on: Mon, 04/30/2018 - 07:27

What alternatives can we use if the gym doesn't have a calf machine?

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JoshEngland
Posted on: Mon, 04/30/2018 - 09:05

Hi John,

Standing barbell calf raises or seated calf raises with plates on your lap... but if you really want huge calves, jump roping will be your best (in my opinion) bet in the gym.

Hope this helps!

Ed
Posted on: Tue, 03/13/2018 - 16:16

I think someone asked this below, but I didn't see a clear answer. Only people explaining WHY this exercise is important.

My gym doesn't have this machine. I already do standing calf raises and leg press calf raises.

The only way I could think of mimicking this machine is to sit on a bench with my knee at a 90 degree angle. Then I put a dumbbell on the knee so it aligns as perfectly with the rest of the leg and perform the raises. I found it was easier to keep it balanced doing 1 leg at a time.

Does that sound like an appropriate substitute for this specific exercise?

Steve Mulry
Posted on: Tue, 01/07/2020 - 04:57

Yes. You can also put a weight plate across both thighs to do both legs together

Brahim
Posted on: Wed, 02/14/2018 - 13:53

What mean
Sets:5min
Rets:burn

Eric
Posted on: Fri, 01/24/2014 - 18:41

Can I do this calves workout on the standing calves machine?

Steve Mulry
Posted on: Tue, 01/07/2020 - 05:00

Yes. Doing it seated is a variation that can work the calf muscles in a different way. It's best to alternate every now & then between variations but if you only have a standing calf raise machine to work with, that's plenty good enough

Asma
Posted on: Thu, 07/25/2013 - 20:32

Can I just use weights on my thighs? and what's the difference between the seated and the standing calf raise, I mean both of the result in the same action.

Justin
Posted on: Wed, 08/14/2013 - 17:53

Seated Calf Raises work the part that gives the lower calf width, the soleus, a lot more than standing calf raises. I honestly think calves with worked soleus look better than calves that just have an immediate bulge and the rest of the leg slims down.

Justin
Posted on: Fri, 08/16/2013 - 08:57

OK, that might not make the most sense; it's all about balancing out the muscles of the calf. While the larger part (the bulge I mentioned earlier) is a big muscle, the soleus makes up around 60% of the mass of the calf, and is usually what gives the lower part of the calf its width.

Phuc
Posted on: Tue, 10/17/2017 - 19:35

The sewted calf raise machine at my gym keeps the entire leg almost parallel to the floor. Does it still have any benefit over standing? I find the latter more comfortable.

Conundrum
Posted on: Thu, 08/22/2013 - 14:09

+1 for Justin, bent-knee calf exercises are best for developing the soleus (lower part of calf that establishes width). Like any muscle, calves are genetic. The length of the muscle and the tendon's insertion point will determine how easily you can build your calves. Those with short calf muscles and a long tendon insertion will have a much more difficult time building them. The soleus responds well to light weight, fewer sets, and more repetitions since it is composed mainly of slow-twitch muscle fibers.

popeyes
Posted on: Thu, 06/26/2014 - 22:30

I agree with this analysis completely. The best calf workout I've ever used is standing on a block so the heels can be lowered and raising up while holding onto something for balance. I do 1 set of 75 reps, using just body weight, in as little time as possible, stopping if necessary for a few seconds and then continuing. Using a timer I try reducing the amount of time until it becomes too easy (usually around 1 minute). Then I add weights to a back pack for more resistance and repeat the process.

khuram waqas qamar
Posted on: Fri, 07/05/2013 - 08:40

your exercise is good for me,i want to a huge body, please tell me more exercise for a huge neck.i m waiting for your reply.

Vinny
Posted on: Mon, 06/10/2013 - 21:46

Take care of yourself Nancy

Andy
Posted on: Wed, 05/15/2013 - 22:58

I'm 60 and not nearly as active as I once was and my interior calf muscle seems to have atrophied. I can build the outer calf muscle but I'm not sure how to focus on the inner muscle. I have hip replacements so I can't do jumping but don't have any problems with toe raises. Thanks

Steve Mulry
Posted on: Tue, 01/07/2020 - 05:05

Vary you foot placement from one set to the next. Do a set with your toes pointing inwards & the next set with your toes pointing outwards. Then the next set with your toes pointing straight ahead.

Harry Chrisnah
Posted on: Fri, 05/10/2013 - 07:06

Nancy,
Are you the Nancy Smith from Burtonville, Mississippi? If so I think I know you. I was the husband of Drew before he ran off with that travelling salesman. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help I know you hardly leave the house now.

Nancy Smith
Posted on: Mon, 01/21/2013 - 20:55

I have had cramps in my legs & feet for a long time. I had back surgery in 1997 & it worked except climping. I am a female and I am talking about climping steps. I have seizures and have had them for 72 yrs. They have never been under control unless I am taking anti-deppresser. I am medicine for seizues and anti-depression. I have fell and am finding myself haveing to walk with a cane. I do not eat good, but really am not hungry. I keep gaining weight. I had a bladder infection and the medicine they given me did not work.I can not take surfur. I went back to the doctor & she just took a test and said I was okay. I find myself going to the bathroom (not really feeling as I am going to pea on myself), but before I get to the bathroom urin is pouring down my legs. And then there is sometimes I feel like I have to go and can not use the restroom until I stand up. Then urin runs down my legs. I am not dizzy, but I can not put a foot in front of the other and walk straight.I feel I am getting worse. The seizures have stopped, thank God. I was hauted wirh them all of the time and had them every month. The moon seem to bother me at times, but I do not know if that has anything to do with it. Staying cold all of the time might have something to do with it. I also have low blood sugar. Something is wrong! Is it the medicine? My legs hurt if you touch them. I feel like screeming, but am on medicine for it. They hurt more when it is cold. Thank you for your help. Nancy Smith

vanay
Posted on: Sun, 01/27/2013 - 21:08

jesus christ.....all i can say is see a doctor. thats a bummer

dougie
Posted on: Tue, 11/27/2012 - 10:14

I find it hard to put muscles on my legs, whereas my upper body its so muck easier... Please advise on how I can train my legs better?

me
Posted on: Thu, 01/02/2014 - 19:56

Jogging bro xD

Steve Mulry
Posted on: Tue, 01/07/2020 - 05:09

Train your legs multiple times per week

Stefan
Posted on: Wed, 09/05/2012 - 19:46

When I do this exercise I get terrible pains in my calves almost like a very bad cramp. What do u recommend? Should I get some kind of message or something?

Nigel
Posted on: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 18:41

pain in the calves when u do this exercise is normal but if it is too much (to the extent that u can barely walk) u should probably lessen the weights or u could injure yourself. But if u feel no pain at all increase weights u have to bare a little pain when working out to get results you will eventually get used to it.

Donny
Posted on: Thu, 05/17/2012 - 06:58

seated with a bar is ok and if you pad the bar with a thick towel it´s ok. Do this with standing one leg Dumbbell raises and you got it all !

anil
Posted on: Fri, 03/23/2012 - 04:51

is there any other exercise for calves with out linked by machine..tell me please..im too far of gym.
thank you

Alan
Posted on: Tue, 03/27/2012 - 10:41

I'm sure there are lots of methods. Here's one I found:
Search the video on standing barbell calf raise
Probably the biggest concern with this exercise over the seated version would be balance. And make sure you do it on a sturdy and steady object.

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