T Nation

Donkey calf vs. seated calf

What is the diference between donkey calf raises and seated calf raises? I have searched the sight, however I really can’t see the diference.

In the donkey calf raise, your knees are unbent, and you are bent over at the hips about 90 degrees. Since the knees are unbent, both the gastocs and the soleus are active.

In the usual kind of seated calf raise – what is usually meant by that expression – you are bent at the hips about the same as with the donkey calf raise, but your knees are also bent, about 90 degrees. This more or less takes the gastrocs out of the picture and makes this an exercise that primarily hits the soleus.

There is also a Hammer Strength machine, and perhaps others, where one sits, bent at hips 90 degrees, but the knees are straight. This exercise is similar to the donkey calf raise, as are calf raises on a leg press machine if you have the seatback raised pretty high.

ripped…traditionally the seated raise has been known for hitting the soleus, which is below the gastroc and is composed of slower twitch fibers. The donkey raise, and also any standing raise, would hit both the gastroc and soleus, with the emphasis on the faster twitch gastroc. The advantage of the donkey raise, over the regular standing raise, is the extended stretch in the lowered position. In the case that you don’t want your partner riding your back, you could try toe/calf presses on the leg press machine. I’ve found it to work rather well.

They are two movements that hit two different parts of the calf. The Seated Calf raise hits the Soleus. This is a slow-twitch muscle and responds best to higher reps. The Standing calf raise hits the Gastrocnemius and is fast-twitch. It responds best to heavier weights and lower reps. I use both in my calf workouts. I definitely recommend incorporating both in your routine if you want to hit your calves correctly. But don’t be afraid to go outside the loading/rep parameters. I mix it up for fun.

Oh yeah, the Donkey calf raise is similar to doing a standing calf raise. They both work the same muscles!