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Replacement for Seated Calf Raise


The seated calf raise machine has gone AWOL in my local gym and I'm trying to come up with a replacement. It is my understanding that movements such as the standing calf raise and leg press calf raise where the leg is not bent works a different part of the calf.

I've tried doing the seated version with dumbells on my knees and feet on a block but I do not feel this, nor it's barbell counterpart are really as effective as the machine. Also, it is quite a pain getting it in place. Any suggestions out there?


Squats. Sorry had to...

If you have a smith machine in your gym you could drag a bench underneath it and set it up so the bar sits on your lower quad (in a simialr position to a seated calf raise) and use that. Don't know how well it would work but it seems to work in my head at least. But i've never tried it so i couldn't be sure!


I've done them before with the leg curl machine. Set up a bench to sit on facing the pad that you would normally hook your feet under to do leg curls. Put a couple plates, etc. under the pad to elevate your toes. With the pad across your knees do your calf raises.

A warning: be careful you don't tip the machine over, it is not balanced well for this application. Trust me.


Just got back from the gym and applied this method, only on the leg extension machine instead. Works like a charm, with the caveat of the machine getting a little tipsy, like you said. I think next time I might enlist the help of someone to help hold the machine down.

Also, since I used the leg ext. as opposed to your original idea of the leg curl, do I have naming rights on this particular excercise?


You can use the Leg press for calf extensions, it's more analogous to a calf raise than a seated though.

The best way of doing it I've seen is to put a block of wood in front of a bench, sit on the bench with the balls of your feet on the block. Preferably the block is high enough so that your heels can't touch the ground at full dorsiflexion (toes up, heels down).

Then put a towel over your thighs and a loaded bar on the towel. This WILL kill your thighs, but hopefully you can see that this is exactly the same as a seated calf raise in a machine.


I use the Smith machine exclusively for seated calf raises. I pull a bench over and use one of the aerobic step things for my toes. Oh, the squat pad does a nice job of protecting your knees/quads from the bar.


The problem with this, is the barbell needs to be heavy to have any effect, and how to you get a barbell that heavy onto your thighs from a seated position?

What I have done is sit on a bench and on each side of me on the bench I have a pile of 35s or 45s. I then stack them on top of my thighs. I have reasonably strong calves and need about eight to ten plates, which makes a precarious stack of plates on your legs, which you need to hang onto with both hands, but it works better than a barbell.


Deadlift it! It needs to be heavy but it's not gonna be anywhere near your deadlift max.

Deadlift it up, at the same time sit down.

But I think your method sounds better. The way I'm describing is only if you REALLY need to do seated's and can't think of anything better.


I have also done this one simply because I am Too Short to be able to use the seated calf raise at my gym- even on the smallest setting I can't actually make contact with the pads. But this seems to work pretty well, even if people look at you oddly.


Someone asked the same question a couple of days ago. You can use the smith machine, load it up, set it to knee height. Sit yourself down in front of the machine and put 1 knee under the bar. If you're smart, you'll use the tampon.

And you can use it for donkey raises also.


Hell guess Im old school. I just stack plates or a hottie or two on my knees and calf raise away. One knee at a time. works like a charm though.