What Are The Best Seated Calf Raise Machines?
April 6th 2020
If you are looking for a home calf workout equipment, you cannot go wrong with a seated calf raise machine.
Now don’t get me wrong, standing calf raises are an important exercise that belongs in every lifting routine, but when it comes down to wanting to build a complete physique and a complete set of legs, seated calf exercises are necessary.
This is because seated calf workouts work a muscle in your calf called the soleus which is hardly activated when you are performing standing calf exercises.
In addition, the reason why you want to have a machine to train the soleus is because the calves are a very strong muscle.
After all, they are the ones that support your body throughout the day 24/7.
It is not uncommon to see people undertraining their calves using weights lighter than their body size.
If you want to train your calves adequately, you will need to be able to overload your calves with a weight greater than your current body weight.
It is through this process that you can see the real and complete growth of your calves.
What muscles does the seated calf raise machine work?
Unlike the standing calf raise which works primarily the gastrocnemius muscle in your calf, the seated calf raise works primarily the soleus, the larger deeper part of your calf.
The gastrocnemius is actually a 2-joint muscle. It crosses both the ankle and the knee. On the other hand, the soleus is a single joint muscle only crossing the ankle.
The action of both the gastroc and the soleus is to point your toe down.
The gastroc is similar to the bicep in that you want to develop the gastroc for a nice peak in your calf.
While the soleus is the deeper, large muscle that helps define the overall size of your calf and training it will make the gastroc much more pronounced.
Both must be trained for chiseled calves if you are looking to become a bodybuilder, and the soleus can only be sufficiently trained while the knee is bent at least 90 degrees.
The reason why is because when your knee is bent at 90 degrees, the gastroc is put on slack. This means that most of the work being performed in the calf is coming from the soleus.
By keeping your knee bent, and performing a seated calf raise, you are able to provide a strong enough training stimulus to grow your soleus.
Benefits of a seated calf raise machine?
The benefits of a seated calf raise machine is because it can allow you to easily overload your soleus to stimulate growth.
Your calf muscles are very strong muscles.
They are designed to support carrying your body weight throughout the entire day.
They constantly receive over 100 lbs. of force (depending on how much you weigh) in order to support your body throughout the day.
This is why when training calves, one of the most common mistakes that I see is that lifters are not using enough weight.
Your muscle is already used to moving 100 lbs. Training it to move 50 lbs. will not make it grow any faster.
Because of this, while training the calves, specifically, the soleus, you want a machine that can allow you to overload it with as much weight as you can handle.
For most people, this involves weights in the 100s of pounds.
A seated calf machine will allow you to perform this overload so that you are getting the necessary training stimulus needed in order to grow your calves.
Our recommendations for the top seated calf raise machines
There are not too many seated calf raise machines that are currently on the market. The reason why is because most of these machines are designed to be used for commercial use, so they are not widely available to purchase.
But there are a few models we found online and out of the few here are the top ones we found.
For those who want the best bang for their buck
The TITAN seated calf raise machine has got your back (and your calves).
The titan seated calf raise machine will give you the most bang for your buck on seated calf raise machines.
The TITAN includes everything you would need in order to perform a seated calf raise, including a 500 lb. weight capacity, and a tough durable frame.
This machine allows you to load 10 inches of weight on both sides which allows for you to add plenty of weight to grow your calves.
Overall, a solid calf raise machine that gives you the best bang for your buck and allow you to perform the exercise at a fair price.
For those who want the best machine for their gym
The Bodykore Commercial Loaded Seated Calf Raise may be the right machine to target everyone’s neglected calves.
For those who are on a larger budget and what the greatest quality machine, you should go with the BodyKore Commercial loaded seated calf raise machine.
This machine is designed to handle over 1000 lbs., and it has been constructed using the best grade steel that was meant to last.
Unlike the TITAN which allows you to put the weights on both sides of the machine, the Bodykore allows you to put the weights on the top of the machine allowing a more even load no matter what weight you are using.
In addition, there is a very easy adjustable seated padding which allows you to quickly change the padding to fit your body type.
This was originally designed for a commercial gym, so it is meant to last till the end of time.
Is the seated calf raise machine worth it?
After it’s all said and done, is a seated calf raise machine even worth it at the end of the day?
Unless if your ultimate goal is to become a bodybuilder or are looking to add something to your commercial gym, probably not.
Unlike other machines, the seated calf raise is only good for one exercise that works one muscle group.
Most other machines allow a variety of adjustments and customizations so you can perform different exercises and work different muscle groups.
But this cannot be done with the seated calf raise machine. It was designed only to perform the seated calf raise.
For this reason, I would say that this machine is not worth it to purchase for your home.
If you are looking for a way to build your calves, you can work on standing calf raises which there are a lot more machines with a variety of uses for (ex: such as the leg press).
Although you might not have the same training results as somebody who is able to access a seated calf raise machine, at the end of the day, the difference is only one muscle that is not even a primary muscle in the body.
If you are training for strength or for aesthetics, there are plenty of other muscles you can be focusing on including but not limited to the chest, glutes, quads, hamstrings, arms, etc.
It all depends on your goals and most likely, your primary goal isn’t to have the most developed calves.
Can you do a seated calf raise without a machine?
Every time you are lifting up your heels off the ground, you are working your calves!
With a seated calf raise machine, you are able to efficiently train your calves without much hassle.
If you do not have a machine, you have a lot of moving parts.
For instance, you would need to find an elevated surface to place your feet on, a place to sit and weights to move.
If that interests you, so be it.
But if you have no time to waste and need to get a sick calf pump from a quick workout, the seated calf raise machine will do just that.