The seated calf machine is designed to enable you focus on your calves, especially on leg days. More often than not, calves do not get much attention over quads and hamstrings.
However, it’s important to focus on your calves on leg days, if not any other day. If you have access to a seated calf machine, use it as much as you can.
How to Use Seated Calf Machine?
The machine comes with a pad and a seat, along with a bar to rack up the weights.
All you want to do is sit on the machine, and put your legs underneath the pad provided. Your legs must be properly wedged in with the pad resting on your quads, slightly above your knees.
Rack the weights before sitting on the machine, or if the machine is designed differently, you should be able to adjust the weights after sitting. Once you’ve settled down in the position, keep your toes on the foot pad while your heels hang off the end.
Push the pad upwards with your toes to unlock the weight rack. To exercise, put your heels all the way down towards the ground, and push up with your calves by using your toes for pressure. Keep most of the emphasis on your big toe, and you’ll be able to feel a stretch on your calves.
The stretch is important, as that’s what activates the muscles and boosts the fibers to grow back thicker and stronger.
Exercises You Can Do on Seated Calf Machine
While there are various modifications of calf exercises that are extremely useful. Here's a look at five basic movements that cam help you build a foundation for your muscles:
1) Classic Calf Raise
One of the first exercises you can do on the machine is the classic calf raise. This is the simplest version of calf raises, where your toes remain straight. This version of the calf raise targets the entire calf muscle.
2) Inward Toe Calf Raise (Pigeon Toe)
In this pose, you turn your toes slightly towards each other, and the heels should be away from one another. This calf raise targets the outer calf muscles.
3) Outward Toes Calf Raises (Duck Feet)
In this pose, turn your toes away from each other, while your heels should be towards the other. When you do duck feet calf raise, it targets your inner calf muscles.
4) Single Leg Calf Raise
A seated calf machine is a great way to work on one leg at a time. As you’re seated, you have more stability than you would if you were standing on one leg. However, lower the weight significantly when doing single leg calf raises to avoid any type of overexertion in your calf muscles.
5) Burnout Set
One of the best exercises you can do on a seated calf machine is a burnout set. As you’ll be sitting, you can push the calves for more reps than you can during a standing calf raise.
Use an extremely light weight, and focus on intensity over volume during a burnout set.