How To Do Seated Calf Raise Properly

Generally, the calf muscles have had the reputation of being among the hardest to train muscles of the body. However, as time goes by, several exercises have been found to be effective in training these muscles. One such exercise is the seated calf raise. It is a variation of the machine calf raise and is used to isolate the calf muscles.

With dedication, this exercise can help you in building stronger and more powerful calf muscles.

Therefore, this article will spell out the important bits of this exercise and how you can you can use it to work the stubborn calf muscles. Read on.

HOW TO DO SEATED CALF RAISE PROPERLY

There are two ways of performing this exercise and we will highlight both for the sake of variety- so that you get more than one way of performing it.

SEATED CALF RAISE AT HOME

This guide is efficient where you cannot access a machine or gym.

Start by sitting up in your chair, with your feet at hip width apart. Proceed to bring your feet back such that your heels are behind your knees.

After this, lift your knees off the floor and come up on to your toes. Hold for a count or two and lower your feet back down in a slow and calculated motion. This is one rep. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

One main advantage of this option is that you can do it anywhere, so long as you are able to maintain a straight back.

SEATED CALF RAISE ON A MACHINE

As the name suggests, this option will require a visit to the gym for access of the equipment.

Start by grabbing a seat on the machine and positioning the balls of your feet on the platform. Ensure your toes are pointing forward and your hips are naturally hanging off.

Place the base of your quads under the knee pads and rest your hands on top of the pad.

Proceed to extend your ankles and when ready, release the safety bar. Lower your heels through dorsiflexing your ankles until your calves are fully stretched.

Extend your ankles and remember to exhale as you flex the calves. This is one rep, repeat for the assigned number of reps.

SEATED CALF RAISE TIPS TO CONSIDER

Try your best to move through the ball of your feet rather than through the base of your toes.

Remember to hold for a count or two before lowering your heels back to the ground for maximum tension in the target muscles.

SEATED CALF RAISE MUSCLES WORKED

CALF MUSCLES

As the name suggests, this is the primary target of this exercise. Your calf muscles are made up of two separate muscles named- soleus and gastrocnemius.

Although it is difficult to see, the former muscle is located deep and runs through the entire length of your lower leg. It serves to help in moving your lower body.

On the other hand, the gastrocnemius is located at the top of your calf muscle and connects to the knee.

While sitting raises are great for working the soleus, the standing variation of calf raises is known to be efficient in working the gastrocnemius.

SEATED CALF RAISE BENEFITS

As mentioned before, seated calf raise will activate two muscles in your calves: soleus and gastrocnemius muscles. These two muscles are integral in your ankle flexion and extension.

Additionally, they are engaged during daily life activities such as propelling and running.

A strong gastrocnemius muscle will enhance better control of your knee flexion because it works hand in hand with the hamstrings.

Stronger soleus muscles will on the other hand enhance proper pumping of blood from your legs back up to your heart and also your general body balance.

When weak, the two calf muscles highlighted above strain and tear more easily.

The seated calf raises are an easy and low impact exercise for working the calf muscles. With the “at home version” making it more efficient for those who can’t access the gym.

Stronger and flexible calf muscles will in turn result in the following: better balance and stability, better running and jumping agility and decreased risk of foot and ankle injuries.

This exercise is a great exercise for beginners in athlete. This is because once stretched, the fibres of the gastrocnemius will facilitate more rapid and explosive movements such as those found in athletics.

This exercise will also enhance day-to-day life activities for old and weak people such as climbing the stairs.

SEATED CALF RAISE ALTERNATIVES

Below are some of the exercises that can be used in place of this exercise to break the exercise plateau.

JUMP ROPE

This alternative will prepare you for the seated calf raise by building you endurance as well as strength and coordination.

SINGLE LEG STANDING CALF RAISES

This alternative also works the two calf muscles at equal measures. It also works through the full range of motion allowed by these two muscles.

COMMON SEATED CALF RAISE MISTAKES TO AVOID

For maximum benefits, stay clear of these common mistakes while performing the seated calf raise exercise.

Avoid using momentum as this will reduce the tension aimed at the target muscles. Aim to keep the reps slow and controlled and pause at the top movement to emphasize contraction.

Avoid increasing the depth of the heels whenever you feel any stretch through the bottom of your foot during this exercise.

Avoid cheat reps which include not completing the reps as this will reduce the amount of impact on the target muscles. Always use full range motion to avoid this.

TAKE AWAY

Since the calf muscles are a stubborn group to train, you are advised to try out different angles of the seated calf raise in order to create new ways of hitting it.