A seated calf raise machine is a variation of the standard calf raise machine. Unlike the standard one, users work their calves when seated down. This is meant to isolate specific muscles of the calves and enhance their strength along with fitness.
Unfortunately, calves are stubborn muscles and do not respond to most of the exercises. These muscles are also resistant to muscle growth, unlike other parts of the body. Routine training is less likely to bring any positive changes to your calf muscles.
Therefore, it is important that you try various angles to work the deep muscles in this section of the body. This is why both standing and seated calf raises are an important part of your exercise routine.
You should include these workouts in your leg workout sessions. Fitness experts advise one to have at least two calf workouts per week. You should do them with heavyweights in sets of about 4 to 6 reps with one lighter one with 25-50 reps.
You can work the muscles alone or pair them with exercises that target muscle groups that they are attached to. It does not hurt to include lunges and squats in the same session.
The use of a seated calf raise machine can help you to continually attack these muscle groups and force the calves to grow. This article looks at some machine brands you can buy to meet this goal, along with advice on how to work out the calves effectively. To get us started, here are our top three picks
Top Rated Seated Calf Raise Machines in 2020
- 1. TITAN Seated Calf Raise Machine V2
- 2. Valor Fitness CC-5 Calf Raise Unit
- 3. XMark Seated Calf Raise Machine XM-7613
- 4. Soozier Adjustable Steel Sitting Calf Raise Machine
- 5. Body-Solid Powerline Calf Raise Machine (PSC43X)
- 6. Deltech Fitness Seated Calf Machine
- 7. Body Solid Calf Raise Machine
- How to Use a Seated Calf Raise Machine
- How to Choose a Seated Calf Raise Machine
- Calf Raise Benefits
1. TITAN Seated Calf Raise Machine V2
+ Steel Gauge build
+ Diamond-plated foot plate
+ Height adjustable
+ Padding for comfort
+ Size: 47.5 x 20 x 10 inches
+ Weight: 64 lbs
+ Weight capacity: 550 lbs
+ Seat size: 10 x 13 inches
The TITAN Seated Calf Raise Machine V2 is a build calf raise machine that features thigh roller pads for enhanced comfort and reduced soreness. It also comes with a diamond plated steel foot place.
Its frame is made of a 2-inch by 3-inch, 11 gauge steel that is able to handle use and misuse without deformation. Therefore, you are in for a piece of durable yet comfortable exercise equipment that will serve you years down the line if used correctly.
This machine is an improvement on their version one to provide their customers with a mix of comfort and increased performance. It targets medium and regular trainers.
It also has a dual loadable weight post sleeve that will fit 2-inch Olympic standard plates, steel, or bumper plates. The sleeve is removable to give you an outstanding 10 inches of usable space for your small weight plates.
Therefore, you can push your muscles as far as you wish by adding extra weight to 500 pounds on the machine. It also comes with a height adjustment mechanism that allows you to get the perfect fit depending on your legs’ size.
The Titan seated calf machine V2 only weighs 64 pounds with 47.5 inches in length and 20 inches in width. Some assembly is required on buying. However, it will not take you lots of time and just needs a wrench.
What we liked
- It is a simple to use machine that allows for height adjustments
- It accepts both the Olympic standard weights along with your regular weights
- The Olympic sleeve can be removed to put more standard weights as per your need
- It has a simple yet durable construction
What we don’t like
- You may feel a little locking at the bolt joints after using the machine for some time. This may require you to tighten the bolts after every while
- It has a stripped down, basic structure. While durable, it does not look so great
- Some customers have complained that the seat is not adequately padded
Here is the best way to use this machine.
+ Heavy duty steel construction
+ 5 adjustable horizontal positions
+ 6 adjustable vertical positions
+ Wide seat
+ Knee padding
+ Size: 51.25 x 25 x 36 inches
+ Weight: 80 pounds
+ Weight capacity: 350 lbs
The Valor Fitness CC-5 seated calf machine is built to provider performance, power, and strength. This machine is built using a 12-gauge steel frame to ensure stability, strength, and durability.
It also comes with durable diamond-plated footplates to ensure that you are stable when doing your calf raises. On the other hand, the weights and held together with chrome-plated sleeves.
These sleeves can hold a maximum weight of 400 pounds, way higher than most people would need for their workout. Therefore, you have a chance to push your calves to the extreme.
You can adjust the knee pad using the steel popper pins. It can be adjusted into six vertical positions and five horizontal positions. Once you have found your optimal position, you now lift your knees and move its safety bar so that you are able to go the full range.
For additional stability and safety, you can mount the exercise equipment on the floor. This works well where you have a dedicated workout room at home. The Valor Fitness CC-5 measures a whopping 51 inches by 24.5 inches by 36 inches.
It should fit in a standard room and just take one corner. The manufacturer attests to the quality of the fitness machine by giving a three-year warranty on the frame, two years on the pad, and a year on the popper pin.
What we liked
- The machine has robust, durable construction and can be used in a small gym
- The rolling pads make regular exercising on the machine a lot easier
- It is easy to assemble the machine and just requires a wretch and some screw
- You can adjust the knee pad into various positions, which gives you added comfort
What we didn’t like
- It is quite long and might not fit in a squeezed room
- It does not come with the tools that you require to assemble the equipment
- The warranty period is too short for the machine
+ Steel frame
+ Skid resistant feet
+ Thick cushioning
+ Height adjustable
+ Size: 47.6 x 22.1 x 42.5 inches
+ Weight: 82 lbs
+ Weight Capacity: 450 lbs
The XMark seated calf raise machine is a compact fitness equipment meant for home exercises. It is made with a steel frame that is 11-gauge and measures two inches by three inches. Therefore, you are assured of durability even with regular use.
The frame has a baked powder coat finish, which makes it scratch resistance. Therefore, your machine should look good even with years of usage. Besides, the feet are skid-resistant, allowing you to push the balls of your feet to the maximum to increase your calf exercises without the risk of injury.
There is a height-adjustable swivel that toy can use to adjust your thigh pads. They also rotate as you perform your thigh rises. This allows it to be used by people with different leg lengths.
As for the pads, the machine features three-inch Duracraft cushions that offer firm support and do not get deformed with regular pressure from the glutes and thighs. At the front of the equipment is a dual Olympic weight post that allows you to fit over 400 pounds of weights.
It works with the two-inch standard Olympic weights, which are pretty common with most weight lifting machines. The base of the XMark sitting calf machine has rubber padding to ensure stability and prevent scratching of the delicate floors such as wood and stone.
What we liked
- The compact size takes up little room in your home
- It has a robust construction, which enables it to serve you for long
- It works with Olympic weights, which are now a standard in the weights industry
- The machine has been well-finished and can form part of your home if you do not have additional exercise space
- Most users have praised the cushioning for its firmness and comfort
What we didn’t like
- Its compact size makes it too small for people with longer legs
- It does not fit small, one-inch weights. Therefore, if you are already have the small weights, you can use them on this machine
+ Ergonomic design
+ Adjustable thigh pads
+ Powder coated steel frame
+ Unique foot platform
+ Size: 48 x 23.25 x 41.75 inches
+ Weight: 48.5 lbs
+ Weight capacity: 440 lbs
Soozier combines strength with ergonomics to give you a calf raise machine that offers a mix of user-friendly design, ergonomics, and durability. This enables you to work out your calf muscles better and longer.
It is made of durable, sturdy, powder-coated steel that is two-inches by three-inches. The powder coating ensures that it remains looking great years down the line if it is well-taken care of.
Ergonomics comes in the sense that different controls and handles have been made in such a way that it is possible to pull and push the handles without overexerting yourself.
It has a unique foot platform to eliminate the strains on the balls of your feet so that you are able to push weights to the maximum height. It also provides an optimal range of motion to ensure that you attack the muscle fibers for the best results.
Besides, the thigh pads are adjustable so that you are able to get the best setup for your comfort. This also allows it to offer the best experience to people of different heights.
Soozier features dual- Olympic weight posts that can handle up to 440 pounds. It has a safety mechanism that ensures these weights are bound in place for a safe workout.
In addition, the foot brace bar is texture to ensure that you do not slip out of place when doing your lifts and injure your calves. Other Soozier machine you may like include sissy squat benches and more.
What we didn’t like
- It has a compact yet ego-friendly design that works for most fitness enthusiasts
- The powder coating along with the steel body ensures that the machine lasts for years
- The weight bar allows it to handle Olympic size weights with ease
- Its deep dark color makes it a beautiful accessory in any room that you place it
What we didn’t like
- It will not work with your smaller-sized weights. You must buy the standard Olympic ones
- Some people run into problems when assembling the machine. It also does not come with tools for the assembly
- The very tall people may fit the compact size a little limiting
+ Angled foot platform
+ Height adjustable
+ No-slip surface
+ Size: 41 x 21 x 32 inches
+ Weight: 44 pounds
+ Weight capacity: 500 lbs
+ Warranty: 10 years frame, 1 year parts
The Body-Solid Powerline Seated Calf Raise Machine (PSC43X) is a minimalist yet effective calf workout equipment that helps work your ankle muscles more effectively.
It has a 3:1 weigh ratio on the performance that offers a force equivalent to three times the weight that you load to the machine. Here is an example: when you load 100 pounds into the machine, you expect to get a downward force of 300 pounds. Therefore, you will not be forced to buy more weights as you improve muscle strength.
This machine is made of a steel frame and coated with powdered paint. This offers you longevity even with regular use. Besides, it has an angled foot platform that has non-slip surface so that you are able to push the balls of your feet to the maximum.
It only measures 45 inches by 21 inches by 32 inches and weighs about 44 pounds. This allows you to put it at home without taking up too much space.
It also has rolling pads that are also adjustable according to the height of the user. You can use either the 1-inch weight plates or collars to get yourself some additional challenge. As proof of the quality of the machine, the manufacturer offers a ten years warranty on the frame and a year’s warranty on other parts.
What we liked
- By being compact, you can use it even in places where there is little room
- The rolling adjustable pads are not only comfortable but allow you to enjoy full motion
- The 3:1 weight ration gives you maximum benefits for a small weight
- It is a robust, durable equipment backed with an equally long warranty period.
What we didn’t like
- It cannot fit Olympic size weights. However, you may purchase a sleeve to allow for 2-inch weights. This adds to the costs of owning the machine
- The seat is a little thin and may require you to add some padding
- The compact design may bring problems to the tall people
+ Strong frame
+ Adjustable knee pad
+ Anti-scratch finish
+ Non-slip foot rest
+ Size: 48.5 x 31.5 x 24 inches
+ Weight: 66 lbs
+ Weight capacity: 500 lbs
Deltech fitness calf machine combines a little bit of the toughness of the Xmark brand and the sturdiness that comes with BodySolid machines.
It is a heavy-duty workout machine that combines a steel body (3-in by 2-inch) and baked powder coating to ensure durability while still looking good. The manufacturer has taken care when creating the equipment to give it a minimal look without sacrificing the performance.
If you still have the old 1-inch weight plates, you can still use them in the machine. It also comes with an adapter that allows you to use it with the standard Olympic 2-inch plates.
The adapter is easy to install and holds the large weights in place. You can adjust the height of the thigh pads depending on the height using easy-to-use mechanism triggered by the pull pin that faces the front of the machine.
On the other hand, the footrest is covered with non-slip material and is textured to keep you in position as you push soleus muscles. You will have to do some assembly when you buy the fitness equipment. However, the nuts are placed in locations where you will fasten them with much ease.
What we liked
- It comes at a low price than most of the comparable models
- Its compact size makes it great for people with little space
- It has rubberized edges for safety and to prevent it from scratching your floor
- The fact that it can work with different weights is an added advantage to most users who have older weights
What we didn’t like
- Some joints are not well-welded and may give in after use for a long period
- The paint is thin in some of the areas
- The positioning of the footrest is too close making it hard for tall users to work out without reaching the frame
- The area of the height variation is also too short, making it limiting for tall users
+ Highly adjustable
+ Thick padding
+ Angled platform
+ Wide seat
+ Size: 47 x 20 x 39 inches
+ Weight: 93 lbs
+ Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
+ Warranty: Frame lifetime, parts 1 year
BodySolid has built a name for offering quality exercise machines over the years. The GSCR349 is no exception. It is made for durability and performance. Its frame is made of 11-gauge steel tubing with the dimensions of two inches by three inches.
The heavy-duty frame means that you can use it even for light commercial exercising business. Despite the minimalist design, the exercise machine has an ergonomic design that allows for natural weightlifting while reducing the strain on the ball of your feet. This has the effect of enhancing the deep activation of your ankle muscles.
Depending on your height, you can adjust the thigh pads to ensure comfort. The pull pin is located on the front side that faces the weights. It has a ball handle to make it easier for you to move the pads.
Besides, there are handles on the top of the pad bar that enable you to put extra force on your ankles when lifting weight. These handles are rubberized for a good grip even when working out with sweat hands.
This machine measures 47 inches by 20 inches by 39 inches and weighs about 93 pounds. The weight bar uses the standard Olympic weights, which are 2-inch wide.
Besides, this machine has a 3:1 weight ratio. This means that each weight delivers the amount of weight thrice when pushing it up. The feature allows you to get benefits with low weights. Lastly, it has thick DuraFirm seat and knee padding. The padding is firm yet soft and does not deform with regular usage.
What we liked
- It is a solid calf workout machine that can be used at home or a light traffic gym
- It is relatively cheap when compared to similar models of competing brands
- The 3:1 feature gives you unlimited force to work your muscles
- It works with the standard Olympics weights, which are now a standard around the world
What we didn’t like
- The foot supports are quite small and may feel a little uncomfortable for large feet
- The compact size makes taller people sit in an awkward position when working out
- Assembly takes time and may require a helping hand
How to Use a Seated Calf Raise Machine
In a seated calf raise machine, the movement comes from the ankles so that it is able to work out the deep muscles. Here is how to do it correctly.
- Start by sitting on the calf raise machine.
- Place the thighs under your leg pad, which is just above the knees.
- Place the feet on in the footrest with the ball of each foot touching the edger of the rest. This is to allow your ankles to hang off the edge.
- Some machines have a weight lock. You can disengage it now.
- Lower the heels to the lowest position possible (move towards the ground)
Note: Remember to start low so that you are able to maintain a proper form. However, continue going for a challenging weight so that you can complete a set of 8-12 reps.
- Start by grasping the handles. The position of the handles depends on the machine. However, for most, the handles are at the top of the leg pad or on the sides of the seat. You may place your had on your laps for the exercise.
- Keep your toes pointed forward in their natural position. Then tighten your abs so that you stop arching your back and sit up straight.
- Inhale as you slowly raise the heels as high as you can. Remember not to swing your heels using the momentum.
- Hold the breath for one to three counts in the position
- Exhale and slowly lower the heels to the original position (Doing it fast will cause the weight to slam down and will not give you that advantage)
- Aim for 8-12 repetitions in up to three sets. However, when getting started, you can try fewer repetitions if you fail to heat the minimum number of reps. With regular exercise, you should be able to do the minimum reps in up to three sets per session. On the other hand, if working out for the recommended two days a week, space the workouts so that the muscle has time to heal.
When you hold a count of one before pressing your lever back up, it is vital as it allows the elastic energy held in the Achilles tendons to die down.
This prevents your muscles from using this energy to bring back the level up again and fail to work out in the process.
There are people with calves that are not of the same size in both legs. If you are such, you should exercise each leg at a time and start with the smaller leg.
To promote the equal size of calf muscles in both legs, ensure that you do more reps on the smaller leg that the larger one.
How to Choose a Seated Calf Raise Machine
There are various leg press machines in the market, and all do not have the same performance. Several considerations and fitness goals should inform your choice of exercise equipment. Here is a quick look at some of the considerations to make.
- Go for Adjustable Height
It is important that you are able to adjust the height of the machine’s kneepads. This allows the pads to lock your legs so that you are able to perform the calf exercise more effectively.
Be sure to check on the height variations between the lowest and highest points so that you can determine if the height is enough for your needs.
- Adjustable Distance
The position of the weight as regards the length of the legs has an impact on the effectiveness of the exercise. Therefore, a machine that allows you to adjust the position will let people with different lengths of legs to get similar benefits from their workout sessions.
Otherwise, they may end up hitting the weights as you work out. You will also need to adjust the weight distance if you have bigger weights.
- The Diameter of the Loader
The size of the loader will influence the size of plates that you can use on your machine. This can deeply inconvenience you if you already have large weights and end up buying a small loader machine. Where possible, go for a two-inch loader.
However, some models come with an Olympic sleeve adapter that allows users to use a two-inch weight on a one-inch weight loader. You can use both weights conveniently. Check if your preferred model provides for this adaptation.
- The Maximum Capacity
The maximum weight that a machine can hold determines how far you can go with your exercises. A machine that can handle heavier weights is made of heavy-duty, long-lasting machines. Compare weight capacities among different machines before making a choice.
Be sure to check the material that makes the frame so that you are sure it can hold heavy weights. Preferably, go for steel as opposed to aluminum.
- The Padding Comfort
Your comfort when doing the seated calf raises is vital so that you are able to push the muscles to the extreme. It also helps you prevent injuries to your knees, thighs, and related muscles. Check the make of the seat, its ergonomics, and the size.
You may use additional padding to enhance your comfort. However, check the placement of your padding so that it does not limit your leg movement when working out.
- Resistance Type
You may go for a machine that comes with weight stacks. In this case, you will not have to own weight plates. On the other hand, this machine might limit you if you outgrow the weights on the machine.
If you decide to go for a free weight machine, you will need to buy weights on the side. This will be an added cost. However, you can increase the weight as you wish depending on your fitness goals. Most units support the standard weights. Therefore, if you have some at home, you can just be using them on your machine.
- Check the Space Available
If you are limited in space, you may have to check the dimensions of your fitness machines. You need them to fit and leaves some space all around for the ease of movement.
Seated Calf Raise vs. Standing
As said earlier, calves are some of the most stubborn muscles in your body. They need commitment and regular workouts for them to respond to your efforts.
There are several ways you can attack these muscle groups, one of which is the seated calf raise, as explained in the sections above.
The other method is the standing calf raises. Let us look at the differences between these exercises and how you can achieve the better of the two sides.
Standing Calf Raise
Your calf is made of three muscles of the gastrocnemius group, the medial head, lateral head, and soleus. When doing your standing calf raises, you actually work out the medial and lateral heads.
These large groups of muscle fibers are vital in springing you into the sky when running, dabbling the ball, or hopping. They are only activated when you stretch your leg and relaxed when you bend your knee.
This means that the seated calf raise exercise has no impact on them. Any exercise activity that works with a stretched out leg has some effect on the muscle group.
Most of the standing calf raise machines work by putting pressure on your shoulders so that you stretch the legs without flexing them. You start by lowering your heels until you can feel a deep stretch before pausing. Then, in a reverse action, flex your calves up until the muscle is stretched to the maximum.
- You put more stress on your calves, thus enabling them to respond faster to your exercise
- It is responsible for the width growth and hypertrophy of the muscles below the knees
- Standing calf machines can also work as standing shoulder presses.
- You may put unnecessary pressure on the shoulders without real benefits to the muscle
- This exercise has no impact on your ankle muscles
Sitting Calf Raise
In the discussion above, we talked of the soleus muscle that extends below the media and lateral heads and inserts on the Achilles tendon. It is the muscle that flings your ankle when walking and jogging. This muscle is not impacted when the leg is stretched.
Instead, it works when the leg is at least 90 degrees or less. Sitting calf raises target this muscle, specifically to strengthen your ankles in the process.
When doing the exercise, you put the load on that part of the body and give the exercise a pause when you reach the peak. In this case, you raise the weight with balls of your feet and not the toes.
- This is the only exercise that impacts this muscle and gives you width near the ankle
- You relax all the other muscles as you work out this muscle
- It is easy to perform the exercise
- It just targets the soleus muscle.
- Most sitting machines cannot be used for any other exercise, making them really expensive
Since each of these exercises works on the different muscle groups, it is important to incorporate both into your exercise routine.
Vary your calf exercises such that you attack each group at a time or pair the exercises such that you touch on each muscle group in a single session. Most people will vary the exercises to prevent boredom and push the muscles to the maximum.
Calf Raise Benefits
- Growth of the Soleus Muscle
The calves consist of three types of muscles, namely the soleus, lateral, and medial. These three muscle groups originate from two major muscles that are called the gastrocnemius.
When doing the sitting calf raise, you are focusing on the soleus muscles of your calves. The rest of the muscles are relaxed when your knees are bent. The soleus is usually no attacked by the standing calf raise exercises and therefore does not grow.
Again, given the muscle group’s primary work is to help point the toes, there is little force that is applied to the muscle when you are standing or walking. The sitting calf raise exercises are the only way to activate the muscle.
- Shortened Reaction time
The calf muscles are responsible for the forward motion when you are running, jogging, and hopping. Exercising these muscle groups is vital to giving you stability and the leg power to support your weight when doing these activities.
This is vital to athletes who are looking to beat a specific time set. They are able to propel their legs faster with decreased injury and faster recovery time after the competition.
- Ankle Stability and Strength
Working out the calf muscles, especially the soleus, helps improve your ankle strength. It is unfortunate that most people target the hamstrings and forget that they need a strong ankle for the strength of their legs.
The ankle muscle is responsible for the plantar-flexion joint. When it is strong, it increases your ability to perform and stability when under load, such as when weight lifting, running, or working out the upper parts of your body.
- Lower Body Performance
Your lower body performance is vital if you want to meet your fitness goals. It has an impact on your ability to lift weights, do your squats as well as creating output power in training movements involving triple extension.
These movements include snatches, cleans, push presses, and jerks. With weak muscles, you cannot fully extend the knees long with the hips and might lose grip when performing specific exercises.
Seated calf exercises along with pulls, squats and plyometric are able to give the lower body the strength it requires for a balanced body.
- Preventing Injury
People who have weak calves and ankles have problems with their gait and stability, especially when standing, running, squatting, and jumping. This often leads to injury as they try to force these muscles into coordinating leg movements.
Professional athletes and footballers with weak muscles are more prone to tendon tears and ankle soreness. By strengthening these muscle groups, they experience lower incidences of injury and the associated muscle soreness.
- Bigger Calves
It would not be right to grow muscles in the other parts of the body and leave your calf muscles. One of the advantages of working out these stubborn muscles is that it leads to muscle hypertrophy.
This has both the strength and aesthetic value to your body. If you would like to look good in your short pants, this is the exercise to include in your fitness routine
1. Are seated calf raises effective?
Seated calf raise at home exercises are effective in working out your soleus muscle that operates the ankle joint. This muscle does not respond to many of the other exercises and often left out.
With the use of seated calf raise machines, you can safely work out this deep muscle, and in a way that will cause it to respond fast. Therefore, it is recommended that you include seated calf raises in your exercise routine.
2. How many seated calf raises should I do?
You should perform one calf exercise in each of your leg workout sessions. This allows you to work out all the muscle groups around the calf area together. Choose a load that you can work with for at least ten repetitions.
Then, do at least three sets of the exercise. This means you will have done 30 reps by the end of the session. However, do not overwork your muscles by doing more than 35 reps.
You can have two leg workouts as a week that are a mix of standing and seated calf exercises. Ensure these workouts are spaced to give the muscles time to recover.
3. What muscles does seated calf raise work?
The seated calf raise workouts target the soleus muscle at the flat area of the calf just above your ankle. This is a deep muscle that attaches to the edge of the gastrocnemius lateral and media muscles.
Unlike the two, the soleus is only activated when you have bent the knee at 90 degrees or less. Therefore, you need an exercise that gets the muscle through a seated mechanism, hence this exercise. This muscle is key to managing your ankle joint when running or jogging.
Last update on 2020-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API