T Nation

Seated Calf Raise

I think it was the “Best of Calves” article that said you needed to train your calves with your legs both straight and bent at the knee to get the best development. If your gym doesn’t have a seated calf raise machine is the alternative with a dumbbell worth doing? Something like this only with a less girly weight and with the toes raised on a couple of weight plates.

You could set a barbell across your thighs and do a similar movement - just be careful not to rest the weight on your patellas.

Wow…thats pic is hilariously pitiful. Yes, use a barbell and keep the weight as far away from your body as possible without sitting on your “kneecaps” and its ok to use a lot of cushioning on the bar, no one’s going to call you a pansy for not wanting to rip your thighs up with 250 lbs of knurled steel.

you can do a standing calf raise with a bend in the knee to shift the emphasis to the soleus

[quote]belligerent wrote:
you can do a standing calf raise with a bend in the knee to shift the emphasis to the soleus[/quote]

I tried that on the leg press in my old gym when there wasn’t a seated calf machine.

The main problem was the quad burn from it.

Trying to be explosive with just your calves is also quite hard when the weight is taxing.

[quote]rholdnr wrote:
Wow…thats pic is hilariously pitiful. Yes, use a barbell and keep the weight as far away from your body as possible without sitting on your “kneecaps” and its ok to use a lot of cushioning on the bar, no one’s going to call you a pansy for not wanting to rip your thighs up with 250 lbs of knurled steel.[/quote]

Well, according to the general consensus in the recent “Pussy Pad” thread failure, you’d definitely be a pansy for using a cushion.

lol

Cheers for your help, I’ll give those options a try. I’ll have to find some kind of sissy-pad to take with me, and also try the standing/leg press machine raise with a bend in the knee.

I don’t know about you guys but I use my calves a hell of a lot during my workouts anyway. Push press… I always start off from the tips of my toes, real explosive pretty nice. I do a few bodyweight calf raises on the stairs of my house sometimes 20 reps x 4 sets. My calves are huge for my size. 16inches, 20 inch quads, 13 inch arms. If I remember rightly most people say to aim to keep your calves the same size as arms? I don’t know.

[quote]BruceLeeFan wrote:
If I remember rightly most people say to aim to keep your calves the same size as arms? I don’t know.[/quote]

Thats right, Arnold sad so in the new encyclopedia of modern bodybuilding.
I’ve never trained calves regularly. Then I messured them for about 3 weeks ago and found out they were smaller then my arms, starting giving them some work and they grow like 1,5-2 cm on 3 weeks.

Just used standing calf raise in a smith machine 5x15 reps once a week, on a wood board to get a good/full stretch. Walked liked a old man home from the gym Friday after 5x15 200kgs.

Here’s how I set up my seated calf raises. Set up a bench in front of a smith machine, put a pussy pad on the smith bar, low some weight up, put some plates down (so I can set the bar to a point where it will latch when I’m at the top of a rep) and then one of those calf things that the girls use in the crunch area on top, then go at it.

You can use a lot more weight than a free-weight barbell, and you it’s easier to get off your legs because all you have to do is latch the bar to the smith at the top of the calf raise.

I also do donkey calf raises and standing calf raises on the smith machine. For the standing, you just put some weight on the smith machine, put something under feet and go at it, but for donkey calf raises, here’s what I do.

I set up some plates under the bar and put the calf raise contraption I talked about earlier on top of those. This allows me to get as deep of a stretch as possible. Then I set up a bench in front of me so that I can bend over and support myself with my arms.

Then I just put the pussy pad on the bar, bend over with my ass situated properly under the bar, push up on the bar and use one arm to unlatch it. Then I’m good to go and just have at it.

One thing to mention, though, about my version of the donkey calf raises. Just like with the standing and seated variations, you can use a lot of weight, and all of that weight on your lower back is going to leave you in some discomfort. Just make sure that you’re not on your tailbone and a little bit further up than that.

To minimize this, I actually put the pussy pad on, then take a full-sized towel and wrap that around the pad. It helps a lot. I also wrap the towel around the pad for the seated smith machine calf raises, too.

I hope this helps.

In general whenever I do calf work it always feels “off” like one calf is doing all the work or its doing more work then the other its extremely awkward when doing most of calf exercises for me. Anybody else have this problem?

[quote]optheta wrote:
In general whenever I do calf work it always feels “off” like one calf is doing all the work or its doing more work then the other its extremely awkward when doing most of calf exercises for me. Anybody else have this problem?[/quote]

No. It is common though… you need to train for balance.

Focus on the weaker muscle during bilateral moves and use unilateral moves for the muscle group