How The Seated Calf Raise Machine Builds Stronger Calves

seated dumbbell calf raise

Build bigger calves with the seated calf raise machine.

It may be fair to say that we often times neglect our calves in order to beef up those other vanity muscles, but the seated calf raise machine is not something to ignore. What this machine can do is offer a great exercise so no one can ever poke fun at your tiny calves again. It is a little embarrassing, is it not?

Heading into the gym and knowing you have some of the smallest calves there. Just not worth it. Period. Stop neglecting your calves and work to boost your lower body gains with the seated calf raise machine.

The benefits to having bigger and stronger calves goes far beyond simply a larger, more defined aesthetic. Strong calves help stabilize our knees, prevent injury, help with power and explosivity, enhance lower body performance, and assist with sport specific and more functional movements (1). With all of these great benefits to large calves, why neglect them and put yourself in a bad spot? It isn’t worth it, and you work too hard to have a physique ruined by tiny calves.

Let’s take a look at the seated calf raise machine and see what makes this exercise so great. By knowing what equipment is out there and how best to tackle all of those gains will easily eliminate that fear of small calves from your mind. By putting this into your lower body routine, you can better tackle any and all of those workouts for only the best gains.

seated calf raise machine

What Is The Seated Calf Raise Machine?

The seated calf raise machine is a great exercise to work your calves and usually involves a high amount of reps. By using the machine, you will make yourself comfortable as you push yourself to be uncomfortable. With many variations, some involving dumbbells or barbells, this exercise only needs the machine, and you start to show that gym equipment some love and really push yourself. As an effective calf builder, this is one to put into your routine.

Muscles Worked

For this exercise, your calves are what get worked the most. Mainly an isolation exercise, when performed the right way with good technique, this exercise is a perfect one for targeting your calf muscles. The specific muscle targeted is the soleus muscle and this is responsible for the movement of your foot moving down, otherwise known as plantar flexion.

5 Reasons Why Your Calves Aren’t Growing

Benefits Of The Seated Calf Raise Machine

The benefits of the seated calf raise machine are hard to ignore and for those who neglect their calves, you are certainly missing out. It doesn’t take too long to work your calves and putting them into your leg day routine is no hassle at all. Keep yourself in check and work to boost your physique, for people can spot small calves a mile away.

Benefits of the seated calf raise machine include:

  • Bigger, stronger calves: Work to build those calves so you see the best growth and all around great gains.
  • Easy to adjust weight for resistance: The set-up of the machine allows for easy adjusting of weight to help you better tackle those gains.
  • Easy to learn: This is easy to learn so there is no excuse for you not to perform this exercise.

How To Perform This Exercise

Here are the steps for performing the seated calf raise machine exercise. With the right form and a real focus on technique, you will be better prepared for tackling this workout no problem. Plus, the assistance of the machine is a great way for you to feel comfortable as you pack on that weight.

  1. Set your machine with the desired amount of weight. Set your toes in a comfortable position on the foot platform. Make sure you are comfortable and that the thigh padding is exactly where you want it to be.
  2. Grab the handles and when ready, raise your toes to release the machine. Be sure to keep your body engaged to really focus on this muscle.
  3. Slowly lower your heels until your calves are stretched, pause, and return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for your desired number of sets and reps.

grow your calves

Seated Calf Raise Machine Alternatives

While this exercise and machine are great for building bigger calves, what you get by performing alternative exercises is a better chance at seeing muscle growth. With the right approach to training, you can mix in these other exercises to see growth, not sacrifice any gains, and mix up your routine so you kill monotony and boredom associated with performing the same old exercises.

Great alternative exercises to the seated calf raise machine include:

Best Exercises To Pair With It

Along with the seated calf raise machine, working to mix the best exercises into your routine will help you see growth for only the best gains. By pairing the right exercises together, you can better those gains so you stop spinning wheels and actually see progress.

Mixing in other calf exercises are great, for these will continue to fatigue the calf muscle. However, other exercises like squats, hamstring curls, and those exercises that work the larger lower body muscles are great because they involve the calf muscles but build overall leg development so you see effective growth.

Wrap Up

The seated calf raise machine is a great excuse to not neglect our calves. As a worthwhile and effective machine in the gym, there is no longer a reason to feel self-conscious about small calves. You work everything else as best you can and your entire physique should show.

By putting an emphasis on your calves you build sport specific performance, functional movements, and a well-rounded physique that others will envy. Place the seated calf raise machine into your routine and see what this can do for your lower body gains.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

*Images courtesy of Envato


  1. Ema, R.; et al. (2017). “Effect of calf-raise training on rapid force production and balance ability in elderly men”. (source)
Austin Letorney
Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.