Smith Machine Standing Calf Raise Exercise
You can perform this exercise on a standing calf raise machine. But if you do not have access to such a machine, you can use a Smith machine. Both provide stability.
This bodybuilding exercise develops the muscles of your lower leg (primary gastrocnemius). The movement tests your balance, especially when carried out with heavier free weights, so work on a Smith machine to stabilize your body. With a Smith machine, you don’t have to balance the weight on your shoulder.
This exercise includes a calf board to maximize the range of movement using a free standing technique to increase mass, size and strength of the calf muscles.
How to Perform Smith Machine Standing Calf Raise?
Stand with the balls of your feet on a block set underneath the bar of a Smith machine so that your heels are hanging down over the edge and almost touching the ground. Rest the bar on your shoulders and traps. Hold it with a shoulder-width, overhand grip and unlatch the safety hooks.
Slowly, from this fully stretched position, lift your heels by contracting the calf muscles to rise as high as you can on the balls of your feet, raising the bar up along the guides of the Smith machine. Hold this position for a second, flexing your calf muscles, then lower your heels back to the starting position.
Exercise Key Points to Remember
- Keep your legs straight during the entire movement.
- Press your toes to lift up your heels by contracting the calf muscles to raise as high as you can on the balls of your feet.
- Your body moves in a vertical descent and ascent. Use the front part of your feet as the activator.
- Keep your body erect (perpendicular to the floor) and do not look down or lean forward or backward.
- Do not bounce up from the lowest position to begin the upward movement.
- Keep the knees straight to maximally stress the gastrocnemius muscle. It’s also critical to get a good stretch at the bottom of the movement and a good contraction at the top.
- Use the maximum range of motion by allowing your heels to drop as far as possible and then raising them as high as possible.
Muscle Groups Involved
The Smith machine standing calf raise is an excellent isolation exercise that will really develop muscle strength and definition in your calf muscles.
- Primary: Gastrocnemius
- Secondary: Soleus
Exercise Variations (Replacement Exercises)
- Machine Standing Calf Raise. This exercise can be performed on a special calf raise machine on which you lift weighted pads rather than a barbell.
- Standing Barbell Calf Raise.
- Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise.
- Rotary Calf Extension.