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Calf Exercises - Seated Calf Raises


Exercise Name:
Seated Calf Raises

Purpose: To develop and strengthen the calf muscles.

Target Muscle Group(s): The primary muscle hit in this exercise is the soleus muscle. The gastrocnemius lateral and medial head are also hit in this exercise.

There are no secondary muscles targeted in this exercise.

seated calf raises

Instructions: Proper Seated Calf Raises Technique

1. Place the balls of your feet on the foot bar. 
2. Adjust the height of the knee pads so that your thighs and hamstrings are snug and secured under the pads (there should be no visible gab between your thighs and the knee pads).
3. Grip the handles, and extend your feet up a little so that you can release the safety lever.
4. Lower the weight as far down as your heals can comfortable go.
5. Bring the weight up using your calf muscles.
6. Extend your feet, pause for a second at the top of the movement, and squeeze your calves hard.
7. Repeat for the desired numbers of repetitions.

Additional Comments And Tips:  

1. Exhale while your contracting your calves at the top of the movement. Inhale as you lower the weight.
2. Do not use the handles to assist during the positive range of the movement. You can fold your arms across your chest if you find it difficult not to cheat when you have your hands on the handles.
3. This exercise is not as good for developing the calves as the standing calf raises or donkey calf raises. This exercise mainly develops the soleus.

Also Known As: N/A
Exercise Type: Strength Training, Weight Loss, Toning, Sports Training
Force: Push
Exercise Level: Beginner
Mechanics Type: Isolation Exercise

Seated Calf Raise Variations:

1. Toe pointed inwards to target the outer portion of the calves.
2. Do one set with one leg, than another set with the other leg (unilateral training).
3. Sit on a bench. Position the balls of your feet on a wedge and place a barbell on your lap (seated barbell calf raises).

Safety Precautions:

1. As always, make sure you do a couple light warm-up sets before starting your regular work sets. It's dangerous to stretch the calves, or any muscle for that matter, without any proper warmup.
2. Make sure your knees are directly above your ankles, or slightly forward, but definitely not past your toes.

Alternatives/Substitutions: List of Other Calf Exercises
  • Donkey Calf Raises
  • One-Leg Toe Raises
  • Seated Barbell Calf Raises
  • Standing Calf Raises


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