T Nation

calf raises

“What is the difference between seated and standing calf raises?”

I have to answer this question on an application to become a personal trainer. Any hints? …Thanks.

roadkill

How do you know that is going to be on the application? Anyway, you should know the answer to that if you are going to be training people for money. This is ridiculous!

LOOP, maybe he means “what are the benefits of standing vs. seated”. Is that what you meant?

I would be interested in that question.

Maybe he’s being sarcastic?

if you dont know, you have no business taking anyones money for training!

roadkill, it’s important because those two exercises work two different calf muscles. The standing calf raise (and donkey calf raises) work the gastrocnemius. The soleus (which lies underneath the gastrocnemius) can only be worked when the knee is BENT. Thus the sitting calf raise works the soleus. In other words, it takes the standing calf raise AND the sitting calf raise to maximally develop/hypertrophy the calves.

Good luck on your test, and if you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

BTW, I learned this just recently reading through some of the articles in the archive here on T-Mag. (grin)

Terry is on the right track but to say that a seated calf raise ONLY works the Soleus is incorrect. The Soleus is a single joint muscle acting on the foot by way of the achilles tendon causing plantar flexion when contracted. Seated calf raises primarily work the soleus because the gastroc will be less taunt with the knee flexed. The gastroc is a two joint muscle as it originates on the femur and crosses both the knee and joins the soleus at the achilles tendon causing plantar flexion. Good luck on your application.

Tampa, you would make a great kindergarten teacher. you obviously have some serious patience!

Yup, P-Dog, I probably would. And I’d like to make you my first student. (grin)

You do be such a smart guy! With all them thar smarts of yours, you sure could be an assET to the forum. (chuckling)

Okay. I’ll stop picking on you now and take the compliment. (bowing)

badmoon, I didn’t really say the soleus is on the ONLY muscle that’s worked when you do sitting calf raises. I said that to work the soleus the knee must be bent. Is that better?

Badmoon- Don’t question Terry.

LOL! Thanks for defending me, Stacked, but if I’m wrong, I definitely want to know it. Sometimes what I say isn’t always perfectly precise because I’m whipping out a reply late at night.

I’ve always thought that the real value of T-mag lies in the fact that we evaluate and argue facts and science – and keep each other honest! I believe in the forum being a self-correcting entity. I’ve seen mis-information put out there by very well intentioned people. Best that it’s caught and pointed out.

The best thing about T-mag, though, is that even dogma is questioned and critically evaluated. We have the opportunity to grow and stretch and learn and take things to ever higher levels.

What do you think? (grin)

Many thanks to those who responded, your answers were entirely helpful.

I think that knowledge will help me strengthen my own calves too.

By the way, I won’t be “taking anyone’s money”, so calm down. This is a student gym. I will probably be re-racking weights all day for minimum wage. Half the people who work there are out of shape, so I doubt they know the answer either.

Thanks to Tampa Terry and badmoon for sharing some great info. I use both variations and had always wondered…

am i the only one that reads the e mag anymore?

Warning: this is an educated guess.

There are a whole bunch of muscles in your lower leg that are involved in a calf raise, and the gastrocnemius is the strongest of them. So when it’s not being used otherwise, it’ll do most of the work. The soleus and the other muscles do contract, but there’s not much left for them to do.

But the gastrocnemius is also involved in knee flexion. When you’re doing a seated calf raise, your knees are flexed, so your gastrocnemius muscles are already at work and not available to move your foot around. The soleus is the second strongest muscle down there, so it gets most of the work in the absence of the gastrocnemius.

ok again, very wierd… how can someone who is trying to become a PT not know this?

Seated works the soleoids better, while standing hits the gastocnemians brevis longus harder.

Sorry TT for being so critical of such a minor detail in your post. I hate it myself when people go searching for the smallest factor possible to exploit. My main point was that you were on track, but I didn’t want readers to focus on seated as being the only way to do… and standing the only way to do… I think to often people try to create hard and fast rules to exercises form and selection when experimentation and variety can lead to much more success.

Lets not forget about that genospecific gylcolitic muscle that only african american people have in their lower leg that allows them to run and jump better than other races. That is a major factor in both seated and standing lower leg development.

God I love conspiracy theorists…or just idiotic morons???