Having well-shaped calves is a must if you want to enjoy toned and beautifully sculpted legs. To train your calves and develop these muscles right, you need adequate calf exercises included in your workout routine. While you can train your calves without the help of machines, enjoying a calf machine will make you more effective without a doubt.
With the help of the right equipment, you’ll reach your goal much faster. However, when it comes to machines made for calf workouts, you may have trouble deciding whether to get a seated machine or a standing one. So, here is everything you need to know about both.
Are calf raise machines good?
If you did some research on the calf raise subject, you probably stumbled across some saying that this exercise is not that great. Well, just as it happens with most exercises created to develop muscles, you need to perform these raises correctly if you want to enjoy the best results. So, calf raises are not a waste of time if you pay attention to how you execute them.
For starters, it is recommended to focus more on the execution of the exercise, rather than on counting the number of reps. Even if you a lower number of reps than desired, the quality of the exercise is much more important than quantity. Once you get the hang of it and you grow some muscular resistance, you will be able to increase the number of reps.
Calf raises will help you display nicely sculpted calves if you do them right. Besides muscle development, such an exercise will also help you with enjoying better stability in the ankles, more explosive power in the legs, increased resilience to injuries, and the ability to improve vertical jump and run faster.
To increase the effectiveness of your training, taking a calf raise machine into consideration is definitely a way to go. There are home calf machines you can use to obtain the best results in a rather short period. You just need to decide which kind of calf exercise machine you need.
What gym equipment is best for calves?
The best calf machine is, without a doubt, the machine that targets your calf muscles in the most effective manner. More precisely, you will need a good calf raise machine that will enable you to perform calf raises in a correct way. But, as soon as you start looking for a calf raises machine, you will notice that there are seated calf raise machines and standing calf raise machines. Now, you probably wonder which one represents a better investment.
In the lines that follow, you will find out the advantages and disadvantages of using standing calf raise machines and those of a seated calf machine as well. The main purpose of this comparison is to help you make a more informed choice that will help you achieve your goals fast and easy. Also, a good calf raise machine will be a strong ally in maintaining your calves in great shape over time, becoming an important part of your workouts.
Seated calf raise machine vs standing calf raise machine
When it comes to seated calf raise machine vs standing calf raise machine, there are various opinions about which one is more effective in training your calf muscles. Even though calves are positioned at the back of the body, they still deserve all the attention they need to develop well. They look great in both men and women, as they define the leg and give it a beautiful shape. So, you’d better continue reading about the pros and cons of both seated calf raise machine and standing calf machine, to get the calves you dream about.
Pros and cons of a seated calf raise machine
You may be tempted to believe that a seated calf raise machine is more comfortable when working those calves out. While you do sit down during the exercise, you will feel your muscles burning for sure. Also, as a 90-degree angle at your knee will make your calves push hard to complete the exercise. It is worth mentioning that the seated calf raise machine will work out the most of the soleus muscle, which is the one that goes along the entire length of the calf muscle, making the connection with the Achilles tendon. So, when you use this machine, you will end up training a very large part of your calf muscles at once.
- The soleus muscles will be effectively trained on a seated calf raise machine due to the position of your knees. Practically, they will do all the hard work, as no other muscles in the leg will be activated during the training session.
- The seated calf raise machine will lead to the proper development of the calves, by sculpting them with the help of lean muscles, precisely because it targets the largest muscle in this area. So, all you need to do is to perform each rep correctly.
- In spite of the fact that the seated calf raise machine is great for the soleus muscles, it doesn’t train other muscles just as well. For instance, the gastrocnemius muscle is not targeted too effectively when working out with this machine.
- There are also a few risks when using a seated machine, like bouncing during training or utilizing weights that are too large for the current condition of the muscles. These two can result in injuries and slowing down the gain of muscle mass if the strain is too exaggerated and there’s too much breakage of muscular tissue.
Pros and cons of a standing calf raise machine
The standing calf raise machine is also a good option when looking to train calf muscles fast and effectively. But, when opting for such a calf machine, you will have to pay attention to the angle made by your knees. If the seated version made your knees form a 90-degree angle, this time you will have this matter in your hands alone. The main idea is to maintain your knees flexed, without bending them during the workout session. So, it may take a while until you get this right and utilize a standing machine right. But, don’t worry, as this will happen soon if you pay attention to these details.
- The standing machine’s most important advantage is the fact that it works out the gastrocnemius muscle in a very effective manner. Located at the back of the calf, this particular muscle is responsible for that desired upside-down heart-shaped muscle. This is why everybody works the calves in the first place, so using this machine will get you there for sure.
- When working out the gastrocnemius muscles, the calf will end up having a higher degree of thickness both on the sides and inside width. You just need to pay attention to the angle formed by your knees, because this will affect the effectiveness of your entire training.
- The biggest disadvantage of those training with this machine to get bigger calf muscles is bouncing, so be careful not to do it. If you bounce too much or too often, you’ll end up risking injuries and pain in your joints.
- Another aspect you need to bear in mind is that overloading the machine with weights, out of the desire to train your muscles faster is not going to bring the desired results. So, bigger weights don’t mean bigger muscles in a short period. Adjust the weights based on the current condition of your muscles.
- You may end up using your knees and squatting by half when using the standing machine. Which is something that will not help you at all. Many people use their knees thinking that this will add more weight, and therefore tension, on the calves, pushing them to grow bigger faster. Using your knees will not do this, so try to maintain a correct knee position throughout the entire workout.
- The standing machine will not train the soleus muscles too much, which is probably the most important muscle of your calves.
What’s the bottom line?
So, as you can see, each machine has its own advantages and disadvantages. The seated machine will train well the soleus muscle, which is extremely important for the development of the entire calf. But it will not train that much the muscle responsible for that beautiful shape of the calf, the one everyone is looking to get after an intense training routine. On the other hand, the standing machine will put a lot of tension of the gastrocnemius muscle, promoting beautifully shaped calves, but will not to that much for the soleus muscle. In other words, what one machine will do, the other won’t.
Don’t get the wrong opinion that you won’t get your calves trained right by either of these two machines. They will work out the calves entirely but will target certain groups of muscles better than others. This is why a strategy that will target all muscles may be a more adequate one.