How to Seated Calf Raise

About the Seated Calf Raise

The soleus is a flat muscle of the calf which runs beneath the larger gastrocnemius muscle. During the standing calf raise the gastrocnemius is the primary target, with the soleus virtually inactive. However, during the seated calf raise the roles are switched. The gastrocnemius is muted due to its attachment being above the knee, and the soleus becomes the primary recruiter.

The soleus, for most people, will provide less potential for growth and strength compared to the gastrocnemius. Firstly, as mentioned above, the soleus is a thin muscle whereas the gastrocnemius composes the bulk of the calf. But more importantly, the soleus has been shown to have a high abundance of type 1 muscle fibres which have a low potential for growth and force production. The gastrocnemius on the other hand has the opposite composition, with a high concentration of type 2 fibres.

How to perform


  1. Set pin to the correct resistance and alter the pads if necessary
  2. Sit on the seat, thighs pressed under the pads and the balls of the feet on the edge of the platform with the heels over hanging


  1. Raise your heels by contracting the calves until peak contraction is reached
  2. Reverse the movement, allowing the heels to travel below the platform to provide a stretch to the calves
  3. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions

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