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Standing Calf Raise 101 Video Tutorial

Gym Main Variation Strength


Standing Calf Raise
Standing Calf Raise

Exercise Synopsis

Target Muscle Group


Secondary Targets



Force Type

Push (Bilateral)

Required Equipment

Standing Calf Raise Machine

Fitness Level









The Standing Calf Raise is a targeted exercise designed to isolate and strengthen the calf muscles, with a particular focus on the gastrocnemius and soleus. Utilizing the Standing Calf Raise Machine, individuals position themselves on the platform with their shoulders under the pads and the balls of their feet on the footrest. By lifting the heels and extending the ankles against resistance, this exercise effectively engages the calves, promoting muscular development and definition. Additionally, the Standing Calf Raise involves the forearms as secondary targets, as grip strength is crucial for maintaining stability during the movement. This exercise is especially valuable for individuals seeking to enhance calf strength and aesthetics while concurrently improving forearm strength through the gripping action on the machine.

How to Perform

  1. Customize the height of the shoulder pad on the Standing Calf Raise Machine to align with your stature, ensuring optimal positioning for the exercise.

  2. Position yourself beneath the pad and rest the balls of your feet on the platform, ensuring that your toes point straight ahead, allowing your heels to naturally extend off the edge.

  3. Initiate the movement by extending your hips and knees, gradually lifting the shoulder pad. This controlled upward motion engages the calf muscles effectively, targeting the desired muscle group with each repetition.

  4. To stretch the calves fully, lower your heels by dorsiflexing the ankles. This downward movement contributes to a comprehensive range of motion, optimizing the muscle stretch during the exercise.

  5. Exhale as you extend the ankles and flex the calves, contracting the targeted muscles to their fullest capacity. This deliberate contraction enhances the effectiveness of the exercise, promoting muscular development in the calves.

  6. Perform the designated number of repetitions with a steady and controlled rhythm, focusing on the quality of each movement. Utilizing the Standing Calf Raise Machine not only targets the calves but also engages the forearms as secondary muscles, particularly in maintaining a secure grip on the machine.

  7. Consider incorporating variations in foot positioning, such as turning the toes slightly inward or outward, to diversify the muscle engagement and stimulate different areas of the calves. Experimenting with foot placement can contribute to a more well-rounded calf development.


  1. Execute each repetition deliberately, maintaining a slow and controlled pace to maximize the effectiveness of the Standing Calf Raise. Emphasize the contraction by avoiding excessive momentum and introducing a brief pause at the top of the movement.

  2. If you encounter discomfort or pressure in the back of the knee joint, adopt a precautionary measure by keeping a slight bend in the knee. Avoid full lockout to alleviate stress on the knee and ensure a safer and more comfortable execution of the exercise.

  3. Pay close attention to knee positioning throughout the entire repetition. If the knee is not fully extended, maintain the established position consistently, promoting stability and preventing unnecessary strain on the joint.

  4. Modify the depth of the heel descent if you feel any discomfort or stretching sensation in the bottom of the foot during the exercise. Limiting the depth can help customize the movement to your comfort level while still effectively targeting the calves.

  5. Focus on moving through the ball of the foot rather than the base of the toes during the exercise. This adjustment optimizes the engagement of the calf muscles and enhances the overall effectiveness of the Standing Calf Raise. Experiment with foot placement to find the most comfortable and effective position for your unique biomechanics.

How Not to Perform

  1. Avoid Excessive Momentum: Steer clear of using momentum to lift the weight during the Standing Calf Raise. Jerking or bouncing motions compromise the effectiveness of the exercise and can lead to injury. Prioritize slow, controlled movements to maximize muscle engagement and minimize energy wastage.

  2. Do Not Lockout Knees forcefully: Refrain from forcefully locking out your knees at the top of the movement. Overextending the knee joint increases the risk of strain and may lead to discomfort or injury. Maintain a controlled range of motion to target the calves without putting unnecessary stress on the joints.

  3. Avoid Shifting Weight Forward: Resist the urge to shift your weight forward onto the toes, as this reduces the emphasis on the calves. Keeping the weight centered over the midfoot ensures proper muscle engagement in the target muscle group and prevents excessive strain on the forearms.

  4. Do Not Neglect Forearm Stability: Avoid neglecting proper forearm stability and grip on the machine handles. Inadequate grip can compromise your balance and reduce the effectiveness of the exercise. Ensure a secure grip on the handles to support stability and focus energy on the calves.

  5. Avoid Overreaching: Steer clear of overreaching or hyperextending the ankles at the bottom of the movement. This can strain the Achilles tendon and may lead to discomfort. Maintain a controlled descent and ascent, focusing on a safe and effective range of motion for the calves.

  6. Don't Neglect Full Range of Motion: Avoid limiting the range of motion by not lowering the heels sufficiently. Failing to achieve a full stretch in the calves diminishes the exercise's effectiveness. Ensure a complete range of motion for optimal muscle engagement and development.

  7. Avoid Rounding the Shoulders: Refrain from rounding the shoulders or adopting poor posture during the exercise. Maintain an upright position with the shoulders back to ensure proper spinal alignment and prevent unnecessary strain on the neck and upper back.


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.


Seated Calf Raise Machine






Body Weight






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.