How to perform seated calf raises
Performing seated calf raises is straight forward. Set the bench to a height where your knees will drop below your thighs when the catch bar is released. First test this by adding no weight to the machine. One you have set your height, load the bars.
Place your legs a few inches apart and lift your knees up by using the balls of your feet, release the catch and lower your heels as low as they go. Ensure full elongation of the calf muscles when your heels are down. This will be your start position.
From the start position, raise your knees up following the above process. Squeeze your calf muscles for a second, then lower back down to the start position. Do the required reps for your workout.
What not to do with this exercise:
- Lift the weight up so that you are completely on your toes
- Drop the weight down too fast. You risk tearing your calf muscles
Performing seated calf raises correctly will ensure you develop your calf muscles in a symmetrical way. There are many variations that you can do with this exercise and they are listed below.
- Ensure you have full elongation of the muscles at the bottom
- Remember to contract your muscles at the top of the range
- Push through at least 5 more reps after the burn phase starts
- Make sure at the bottom of the range, your knees are below your thighs
- Do not use the handles to lift the weight when it starts to burn
Seated Calf Raises Variations
- Variation 1: Heels outwards. Sit with your legs a few inches apart. Then turn your heels outwards. Repeat the same lifting technique as mentioned above. This variation will still target your calves, but will place more emphasis on the fibularis longus muscle.
- Variation 2: Heels inwards. Sit with your legs apart so that when you turn your heels inwards, they almost touch each other. Repeat the lifting technique as above. The emphasis for this variation will be on the flexor digitorum longus muscle.