Calf raises are an essential part of the workout routine. From marathon runners to regular fitness enthusiasts, everyone relies on this exercise to strengthen their gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. It helps you maintain balance and prevents injuries.
A calf raise machine can help you better achieve your fitness goals. They stabilize your feet and ankles while improving the lower body performance. You can either perform standing or sitting calf raises, depending on the type of machine.
After extensive research and skimming through customer reviews, we have curated the list of the five best calf raise machines. Read on to know about them.
Our Top 3 Picks:
|Body-Solid Leverage Squat and Calf Raise Machine||XMark Fitness Seated Calf Raise Machine||Soozier Adjustable Steel Seated Calf Raise|
|Pros|| 800 lbs Weight Capacity
Sturdy and Durable
Easy to Assemble
| Thigh Pads are Adjustable
Durable and Sturdy
Features a Thick Cushion
| 440 lbs Weight Capacity
Adjustable Thigh Pads
Non-Slip Foot Brace Bar
|Price||CHECK PRICE||CHECK PRICE||CHECK PRICE|
5 Best Calf Raise Machines 2021
With the pandemic, our workouts have moved inside our homes. This is the right time to invest in a calf raise machine to exercise your lower body, and to get a step closer to your dream of a well-toned body.
Our list has the best machines in the market for you to consider. We have picked them out based on their features, price points, and durability. Let’s talk about these machines:
Our first pick is from the top fitness equipment company, Body-Solid. The GSCL360 machine serves dual purposes, it can be used for performing calf raises and also squats. It has a unique and ergonomic design to exercise your lower body. It is beneficial in maintaining muscle mass and strength in your thighs, glutes, calves, and lower back.
It is a standing calf raise machine that measures 62 x 43 x 56 inches and weighs 170 pounds. The machine is durable and can handle the heaviest possible load on it. Moreover, Body-Solid offers a limited lifetime warranty on the product.
- The machine is constructed with high tensile strength 12-gauge steel and has a weight capacity of 800 pounds.
- The calf squat carriage weight is 35 lbs, which makes it suitable for mid-level to advanced lifters.
- The shoulder and back pads on the machine are extra-thick and comfortable and are contoured to fit in around your shoulders.
- The heavy-gauge diamond plate foot platform has a 20° pitch for effective quadriceps and gluteal development.
- The calf raise block on the machine is round instead of the usual square. It removes the painful edge and allows for a deep pre-stretch for maximum calf-blasting workouts.
- It has a spring-loaded lockout handle within your reach. This is beneficial from a safety perspective.
- 800 lbs weight capacity
- Sturdy and durable
- Features high-quality padding
- Easy to assemble
- Difficult to move around
Body-Solid GSCL360 is a perfect machine for all your leg days. From mid-level to advanced fitness enthusiasts, anyone can use it. Also, given its robust build, this quality product will last you a lifetime.
Why did we decide to put this calf raise machine in the #1 position?
The quality design and features of Body-Solid GSCL360 convinced us to put it in the #1 position. It can help you develop ultimate lower body power. It allows you to perform squats too, which is like icing on the cake.
Also Read: Best Safety Squat Bars
A seated calf raise machine is all your workout routine needs. It strengthens your calves and can help improve running and sprinting performance. It exercises your calf muscles with no risk of possible injury. It is ideal for your home gyms and even commercial gym collections.
This product measures 47.5 x 22 x 35 inches and weighs around 80 pounds. The design is comfortable for the user to exercise without taking too many breaks. The machine has a robust build that adds to its durability.
- The 11-gauge steel-built machine is attached to skid-resistant and scratch-resistant feet. It is finished with a baked powder coating.
- The machine is equipped with height-adjustable swiveling thigh pads that rotate as the user performs calf raises. This makes it easier for people with different leg lengths to use it.
- The handles on the machine have rubber-molded finger grips so that you can hold them comfortably and not lose grip while exercising.
- It has dual Olympic weight posts where you can add 6 plates on each side (over 400 pounds). You can use them to build on your muscles and strength with a variety of exercises.
- The machine features a 3’’ thick cushion that keeps you comfortable while exercising. Also, the vinyl covering is tear and moisture resistant to keep sweat at bay.
- The machine base has rubber padding, which not only ensures its stability but also prevents scratches on the floors.
- Thigh pads are adjustable
- Durable and sturdy
- Features a thick cushion
- Has dual Olympic weight posts
- Not suitable for tall people
This compact fitness equipment is suitable for fitness buffs looking to tone their calves. The adjustable thigh pads are a feature to look out for in this machine. It allows you to exercise comfortably without putting any extra pressure on your thighs.
This one’s our budget pick. The ergonomic design with an advanced build of the machine is perfect for stronger calf workouts. It is a seated machine to exercise your lower body with ease. It is a user-friendly machine and you can access the handles without over-exerting yourself. This saves you a lot of energy for other exercises.
It requires assembly, which is pretty easy. It measures 48 x 23.25 x 41.75 inches and weighs around 50 pounds. The sturdy construction of the machine makes it durable. With proper maintenance, you can use it for many years without having to replace it.
- The machine has a robust and durable frame with powder-coated steel. It can easily hold 440 pounds.
- The thigh pads on the machine are adjustable for people of different heights. The seat is densely padded for added comfort during the workout.
- It features a unique foot platform design that eliminates stress compression on the ball of the foot. This offers a suitable range of motion for deep muscle fiber penetration.
- It has rubber grip handles for added comfort, allowing you to exercise with ease.
- The foot brace bar on the machine is wide and textured. It is a non-slip bar that makes working out more comfortable.
- 440 lbs weight capacity
- Adjustable thigh pads
- Non-slip foot brace bar
- Features dual Olympic weight posts
- Has a chemical smell that lasts the initial few days
The Soozier calf raise machine was designed with the user’s comfort in mind. It simplifies workouts and is ideal for beginners, and at this price point, it is a popular choice among many.
Also Read: Best Adjustable Kettlebell
Next on our list is the Powerline PSC43X, also by Body-Solid. It is a simple yet powerful machine that will help strengthen your calves. It can help improve your running and sprinting performance. This seated machine increases the calf muscle interaction and speeds up their development. It is ideal for home gym workouts and can easily accommodate users of all sizes.
The machine measures 45 x 21 x 32 inches and weighs 44 pounds. It doesn’t take up too much space, so you can even place it in your room. Body-Solid offers a 10-year warranty on the machine frame and one year for all the other parts.
- It has an angled foot platform with an anti-slip surface for friction-free movement. This allows you to push the balls of your feet to a maximum while exercising.
- It has rubber grip handles for added comfort, allowing you to exercise with ease.
- The machine follows a 3:1 ratio, which means it offers force equivalent to thrice the load the user puts into it.
- It allows adjustments so that users of all sizes and leg lengths can easily use it. As a result, they can easily perform calf raises with it.
- It has a 1’’ weight post which can also be upgraded to Olympic size as per the preference of the user.
- Compact design
- Features weight posts
- Anti-slip foot platform
- User needs to buy Olympic weight sleeve adapter separately
This machine is a must-have for every serious fitness buff. It has a minimalist touch to it and is available at a reasonable price. Also, its sturdy build and the long warranty period are a huge plus point, when compared to its competitors.
The seat and knee pads are quite thick, allowing you to exercise comfortably. The machine’s powerful construction, combined with chrome plating, ensures that it will last a lifetime.
Beginners to intermediate fitness enthusiasts can use the machine. It has dimensions of 51.25 x 25 x 36 inches and weighs approximately 80 pounds. It is appropriate for home gyms, light commercial use, and physical therapy centers. It is simple to put together and does not require any additional assistance.
- The machine is constructed with 12-gauge steel that adds to its strength and durability.
- The chrome-plated sleeves of the machine can hold a weight of up to 350 lbs, which makes it ideal for beginners.
- It has a diamond footplate where users put the balls of their feet. This ensures stability when you’re performing the calf raises.
- The knee pad on the machine can be adjusted to six different vertical and five horizontal positions. Lift your knees to move the safety bar for a full range of motion once you’ve found a comfortable position.
- The knee pad also has steel grip handles that provide extra stability during the workout.
- Extremely adjustable
- Heavy-duty steel construction
- Sturdy and stable
- Easy to assemble
- Support pads may be loose
- Weight capacity is a bit low
Given the low weight capacity of the machine, it is not quite suitable for hardcore workout and training purposes. Fitness enthusiasts with injuries can use it for light workout sessions. The high-density padding provides adequate support to the body.
Also Read: Best Adjustable Dumbbell
Calf Raise Machines: Buying Guide
A calf raise machine is an enormous investment, with regard to your money and health. Therefore, it’s crucial to do proper research and evaluate all the options available before you take the plunge. Hence, we took the liberty to put together a comprehensive buying guide for calf raise machines. Here’s all you need to consider:
Standing vs Seated Machine:
A standing calf raise machine exercises your gastrocnemius muscles. It allows you to build maximum calf mass. And the seated machine works on the soleus muscles due to the position of your knees. It is more comfortable than standing calf raises. It is the personal preference of the user when choosing a machine.
Higher the weight capacity of a calf raise machine, the better. This will be beneficial for adding weights to the posts. It keeps the machine stable, which lets it last longer. Therefore, it is advisable to invest in a machine with a weight capacity of at least 200 lbs.
The machine’s construction has a direct impact on its lifespan. It should have a powerful frame made of at least 11 gauge steel, which is very durable. This is the strongest steel type, measuring 1/8″ thick, and can easily withstand heavyweights on the machine.
Calf raise machines are available in different sizes and weights. If you have a space crunch, it’s a wise choice to go for a compact machine. You should be able to move and exercise comfortably during the workout with such a machine. So, ensure to consider the space you have. The machine measurements are available in the product description section for you to check out.
The calf machine’s padding should be firm and dense. You should be able to exercise with no difficulties. For example, the thigh pads should not be too hard on your legs. It will also help prevent injuries to your lower body while working out. Even the seat cover should be comfortable. A vinyl covering serves the best in fitness equipment as they are sweat resistant.
Always choose a machine that can be adjusted. This allows you to make the necessary adjustments to the position to make it more comfortable for you. It is also beneficial to accommodate people with varying leg lengths.
The warranty period speaks volumes about the product’s quality and the manufacturer’s reliability. Check to see if the brand provides a warranty period. The more the manufacturer trusts their products, the longer the warranty they offer.
Most people prefer to supplement their calf raise machines with weight plates. It is, however, critical to ensure that the machine can withstand the weight of the plates. The diameter of the weight plates that the machine can accommodate is also important. The holes in standard plates are 1″ in diameter, while the Olympic weight plates’ holes are 2’’.
One of the most important factors to consider is the budget. Calf raise machines are available in different price ranges. The price increases with the features of the product. However, a higher price does not always imply higher quality. Decide your budget beforehand to avoid going overboard when making the purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a calf raise machine worth it?
Training your calves is an important part of your lower body exercises. A calf raise machine can help you train your gastrocnemius and soleus muscles of the calves and strengthen them. It helps you get thicker calves along with ankle stability. You need to perform both standing and seated calf raises for proper calves development. However, you don’t need to buy two machines. You can choose the one according to your preference and priority.
How much do calf raise machines cost?
Calf raise machines are available in a variety of price ranges depending on their features and quality. Also, it is necessary to consider brand reliability when making a purchase. The range usually starts at $100–$200 and goes up from there. Seated calf raise machines are more affordable than the standing calf raise machines, which are usually found in commercial gym centers.
What are the benefits of a standing calf raise machine?
A standing calf raise machine can help you in the effective training of your calf muscles at a faster pace. You use your whole body on this machine, fitting your shoulders on the pads. This puts the load on the shoulders and back, allowing you to move heavier weights. It exercises your gastrocnemius muscles, the larger calf muscle, and produces thicker and visible gains.
It also helps build up strength and improves your athletic performance. With strong ankles and calves, you can perform a variety of exercises without getting tired or hurt easily.
What are the benefits of a seated calf machine?
A seated calf machine allows you to perform calf raises comfortably. You feel a burning sensation in your muscle while exercising on this machine. With your knees at a 90-degree angle, your calves get a push, training the soleus muscle which runs along the calves. It is connected with the Achilles tendon on your leg.
It not only exercises your leg but also treats and prevents painful shin splints. It sculpts the calves with the help of lean muscles, provided you perform the raises correctly.
Which is better: Standing or seated calf raise machines?
The standing calf raises the machine, targets the gastrocnemius muscle, and the seated one targets the soleus muscle. Together, they aid in the overall development of the calves. The type of machine you choose depends on your fitness goals and preferences.
How long does it take to strengthen the calves?
You might notice minor results in the two to four weeks of performing the calf exercises. Your stamina will increase, which, in turn, will improve your training performance. With regular exercise, it may take three-four months to notice the changes in the calves.
How often should I train my calves?
For stronger calf muscles, you need to train them at least thrice a week. As a beginner, you can start by performing 8–12 standing calf raises and 15–25 seated calf raises to train both the calf muscles. Allow yourself a two-second pause after each rep and take a 90 second to 2 minutes break after each set.
A calf raise machine is a piece of effective equipment in your fitness journey. It can help you exercise your lower body and get those stronger and thicker calf muscles. You can also build up your overall physique with this machine.
The options suggested are the best on the market right now and would make an excellent addition to your home gym. Also, do consider the relevant factors mentioned in the buying guide before making the purchase. Investing in a quality machine can help you get the bang for your buck.