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Seated Calf Raises

Ashlesha Bhondwe Jul 22, 2020
Thinking of toning and shaping up your legs? Well, then seated calf raises are the way to go. Read the following story to learn, how to do these exercises at the gym and even at home.
Toned calves are what we all crave for, as toning or building these muscles can get difficult. Constant walking or running, tones calves very well, however, with our sedentary lifestyles, walking long distances is becoming a thing of the past. So, if you want to tone your calves, calf exercises or raises both seated and standing are very effective.

How to do Seated Calf Raises

This exercise can be done with or without a machine. Following are the two ways to do this workout.

Using a Machine

Place yourself on the calf raise machine. The balls of your feet must be on the platform. Place your thighs under the pads, such that, they rest above your knees. Get a grip on the handles and raise your heels. At this point, you must inhale and lower the heels till you feel your calves are stretched.
This happens when you bend your ankles. Now, exhale and lift the weights while you get on to your toes. Continue this till your calves are flexed. Hold this position for a moment and then release.

At Home

You can also perform calf exercises at home without using any equipment. For this, you will need a chair, a flat, heavy, disc like object to place on your lap and a small raised platform to put your feet on. Sit on the chair and look straight. Bend your knees and just like on the machine, place the balls of your feet on the platform.
Put the weight on your lap to provide you with resistance while performing these calf raises. Lower your heels and stretch the calf muscles. Lift your heels off the floor again using your calves. Hold this position and then slowly lower your heels.
These calf raises without the machine, however, have to be done with equal amount of care and safety as it is done in the gym.

Errors that Must be Avoided

If you use excess weight, the extension and flexing of the calves will be limited. It is not the weight, but the contraction of the muscles that is important. Remember that you have to keep the balls of your feet on the edge of the padding or platform. It is the calf muscles that have to play a part in lifting your feet.
Do not make use of your body weight to lift your heels. Do not rock your body while lifting your feet off. Keep your back straight, do not slouch or bend, as it may lead to a lower back injury.
This will render the exercise useless. Be consistent with the speed, very fast movements do not contract the muscle completely. Remember to hold the raised position for a while.

Health Benefits

The seated raises mainly have an effect on the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. The soleus muscles play an important role in maintaining correct body posture. When you bend your knees in the seated calf raise, the gastrocnemius relaxes and the soleus bears the flex.
When you perform calf raises, the first benefit, obviously, would be toned and well-shaped calves. The other benefit is that, these exercises are known to prevent painful shin splints.

Tips and Precautions

If you have a problem in the Achilles tendons or have undergone surgery, it is recommended that you do NOT try these exercises. Remember to warm up before you begin with the sets. These exercises must always be complemented with standing calf raises.
A balanced fitness regime should be followed to obtain better results. Do not perform the exercise, if you are doubtful about the correct technique of doing these exercises.
Seated calf raises are therefore, the best way to get tight calf muscles, and strengthen them. A balance in exercise and diet must be maintained to stay fit.