How to Calf Press

About the Calf Press

A variation of the calf raise, which is traditional performed standing, the calf press is an ideal exercise for targeting the calf, specifically the muscle which makes up the main bulk of the lower leg - the gastrocnemius. The other muscle of the calf, the soleus, is muted during the calf press as the gastrocnemius is in a mechanically advantageous position with the legs relatively straight and knees locked in a bent position.

It is vital the athlete performs the calf press with a weight they can comfortably manage due to vulnerability they are placed in by supporting the load with the ankle, and the relatively small amount of foot contact on the platform.

How to perform


  1. Load leg press machine with a suitable load
  2. Set the safety pins at a fairly high level, but low enough to enable the platform to slide the acute distance needed to perform the exercise
  3. Sit on the seat, back pressed against the back pad, and the balls of your feet placed to the edge of the platform. Maintain a slight bend in the knee throughout the exercise
  4. Press the platform up. Do not alter the safety handles, as we will not require the sled to slide down the rails to any significant degree


  1. Press the platform upward by extending at the ankle
  2. Once peak contraction is reached, slowly reverse the movement to return to the starting position
  3. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions

Other Leg Exercises