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Seated Calf Raises

What Is A Seated Calf Raise?

How To Do A Seated Calf Raise

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Seated calf raises are an isolation calf exercise performed sitting on a bench or box, either as a bodyweight exercise or with weights on the knees to increase the challenge. Seated calf raises isolate the focus on the calves by preventing the upper body and core from being involved.

The muscles and tendons around the feet and lower legs work hard in any activity where you flex your ankles, including running, squats, and plyometrics. Doing calf exercises to strengthen the calf muscles and ankles is important for reducing injury risk and supporting everyday activities and sports performance.

Performing calf raises seated works the calves at a different angle than standing calf raises. This variation targets the two muscles of calves (the gastrocnemius and the soleus) but compared to standing calf raises places more focus on the soleus, the smaller muscle which attaches to the Achilles. While it puts less challenge on the stabilising muscles, it is great for building tendon strength.

The calf muscles need a significant amount of training stimulus as they are subject to large loads each day already. Isolation exercises like seated calf raises are an effective way to challenge the muscles and stimulate growth.

Check out some other calf raise variations: Standing calf raises, single leg seated calf raises, leg press seated calf raises

Commonly Asked Questions About Seated Calf Raises

Are Seated Calf Raises Effective?

Seated calf raises are an effective exercise for building calf strength, especially in the soleus muscle. Seated calf raises are easier to do than standing calf raise variations, making them a good choice for anyone building the strength and balance for standing calf exercises.

How To Do Proper Seated Calf Raises?

Sit on the edge of a box or bench with your feet slightly narrower than hip width. If you are using weights, rest the dumbbells or weight plate on your knees. Press through your toes to lift your heels, and squeeze your calf muscles.

What Is The Best Seated Calf Raise?

Seated calf raises can be performed as bodyweight only, or by adding external load from dumbbells or a weight plate on your lap. You can also do single leg seated calf raises to tackle imbalances between the two sides. The calf muscles need a lot of stimulus to grow, so once you have developed enough strength, it is a good idea to add extra weight to your seated calf raises.

Seated Calf Raises Tips

  • Push through your toes and squeeze your calves to create tension during the exercise.

  • You can create more range of motion by placing the balls of your feet on a step so your heel can lower down at the bottom of each rep. This adds further challenge to build more strength and can improve range of motion.

  • Gently stretch your calf muscles before doing seated calf raises to improve your mobility and reduce the risk of injury.

How To Do Seated Calf Raises

  1. Sit on the edge of a box, chair, or bench, feet slightly narrower than hip width and facing forward.

  2. Rest your weight plate in your lap or place a dumbbell on each thigh just above the knee.

  3. Push through the balls of your feet and slowly raise your heels off the floor until you are on your tiptoes.

  4. Squeeze your calf muscles as you pause at the top of the rep.

  5. Lower back to the start position with control.

If you’re not sure if any of the above exercises are suitable for you, please consult your doctor before you start it. Need guidance on how to perform the exercise? Ask a personal trainer at your gym.