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Seated Calf Raise 101 Video Tutorial

Gym Main Variation Strength


Seated Calf Raise
Seated Calf Raise

Exercise Synopsis

Target Muscle Group


Secondary Targets



Force Type

Push (Bilateral)

Required Equipment

Seated Calf Raise Machine

Fitness Level













The Seated Calf Raise is a targeted strength training exercise designed to isolate and develop the muscles in the calves. Utilizing a Seated Calf Raise Machine, this exercise involves sitting and positioning the pads of the machine on the thighs, with the weight placed on the lap. The lifter then lifts the heels by contracting the calf muscles against resistance, emphasizing the calves' full range of motion. The primary focus is on the calves, working both the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles to enhance muscular definition and strength. Additionally, the Seated Calf Raise engages the forearms, as they play a stabilizing role in the movement. This exercise is particularly effective for individuals seeking to target and strengthen the calf muscles in a seated position, providing a convenient and efficient means of calf development.

How to Perform

  1. Begin the Seated Calf Raise by taking a comfortable seat on the designated machine, ensuring proper alignment. Place the balls of your feet securely on the platform, pointing your toes forward, allowing your heels to naturally hang off the edge. Position the base of your quads beneath the knee pad for stability, and rest your hands on top for support.

  2. Initiate the movement by extending your ankles and releasing the safety bar, allowing for a full range of motion in the exercise. This step prepares the calves for the contraction phase and ensures a controlled and effective workout.

  3. Lower your heels by dorsiflexing the ankles until your calves are fully stretched. Emphasize the stretch to optimize muscle engagement and enhance flexibility in the calf muscles. This phase contributes to the overall effectiveness of the exercise and promotes a comprehensive workout for the targeted muscle group.

  4. As you reach the bottom of the movement, extend the ankles once again, flexing the calves to lift your heels. Exhale during this phase to enhance the contraction and maintain a steady breathing pattern throughout the exercise.

  5. Repeat the entire sequence for the designated number of repetitions, maintaining proper form and control. Consistent and controlled movements are essential for targeting the calves and maximizing the benefits of the Seated Calf Raise.


  1. Perform the Seated Calf Raise with deliberate and controlled repetitions, avoiding rapid movements to enhance muscle engagement. Emphasize the contraction phase by incorporating a brief pause at the top of the movement, allowing for a more comprehensive workout for the calves.

  2. If you experience any discomfort or stretching sensation through the bottom of the foot, consider limiting the depth of the heel drop during the exercise. This modification ensures that the focus remains on the calf muscles without undue strain on the foot.

  3. When executing the movement, concentrate on shifting through the ball of the foot rather than the base of the toes. This adjustment in foot movement promotes a targeted activation of the calf muscles, optimizing the effectiveness of the Seated Calf Raise.

How Not to Perform

  1. Avoid Using Excessive Weight: One common mistake in the Seated Calf Raise is using weights that are too heavy, compromising form, and risking injury. To prevent unnecessary strain on the calves and forearms, prioritize proper form over lifting heavy weights. Gradually increase the weight as your strength improves, ensuring a controlled and effective workout.

  2. Do Not Rush Repetitions: Resist the temptation to rush through repetitions. Performing the Seated Calf Raise too quickly reduces the effectiveness of the exercise and increases the risk of injury. Focus on controlled, deliberate movements to maximize muscle engagement and prevent unnecessary strain on the calf muscles and forearms.

  3. Avoid Bouncing at the Bottom: Refrain from bouncing your heels at the bottom of the movement. Bouncing can diminish the effectiveness of the exercise and place undue stress on the Achilles tendon. Maintain a controlled descent and ascent, ensuring a smooth and controlled motion throughout.

  4. Do Not Neglect Full Range of Motion: Avoid limiting the range of motion during the Seated Calf Raise. Ensure that your heels drop sufficiently to achieve a full stretch in the calf muscles. Incomplete range of motion reduces the effectiveness of the exercise and hinders overall calf development.

  5. Steer Clear of Neglecting Forearm Engagement: While the primary focus is on the calves, do not neglect engaging your forearms to stabilize the movement. Maintain a firm grip on the handles of the Seated Calf Raise Machine throughout the exercise, preventing unnecessary stress on the wrists and ensuring a stable and controlled motion.

  6. Avoid Raising Heels Too High: Resist the urge to raise your heels excessively high at the top of the movement. Overextending the ankles can strain the calves and compromise form. Focus on a controlled flexion of the calves, lifting the heels to a comfortable and natural height without excessive elevation.

  7. Do Not Forget Proper Machine Adjustment: Neglecting to adjust the Seated Calf Raise Machine to your individual biomechanics can lead to improper form and wasted energy. Ensure the machine is set up to accommodate your height and positioning, promoting a comfortable and effective workout.

  8. Avoid Allowing Knees to Drift Inward: Prevent the inward collapse of the knees during the Seated Calf Raise. Maintain proper alignment to optimize muscle engagement in the calves and avoid unnecessary strain on the knee joints. Keep the movement controlled and aligned with your natural biomechanics.


Variations of fitness exercises refer to different ways of performing a specific exercise or movement to target various muscle groups, intensities, or goals. These variations aim to challenge the body differently, prevent plateaus, and cater to individuals with varying fitness levels.


Alternative exercises in fitness refer to different movements or activities that target similar muscle groups or serve the same training purpose as the primary exercise. These alternative exercises can be used as substitutes when the original exercise is unavailable or challenging to perform due to various reasons such as equipment limitations, injuries, or personal preferences.