Are Seated Calf Raises Necessary?

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Video Transcript

“Are Seated Calf Raises Necessary?”

Hey what’s up guys, Sean Nalewanyj here with a Muscle In Minutes Q&A where I give quick, to the point answers to your fitness questions.

Today’s question is, “are seated calf raises necessary in order to build your calves effectively, or are standing calf raises enough on their own”.

So basically, your calves are made up of two main portions, the first is the gastrocnemius which is the much larger visible portion of the calf that sits on the outside of your lower leg, and the second is the soleus which is a much smaller basically strip of muscle that sits underneath the gastrocnemius, and when you perform a calf raise with your knees bent like in a seated calf raise, it basically de-activates the gastrocnemius and isolates that small soleus muscle.

Now, if your goal is to fully maximize the development of your calves then obviously building up the soleus muscle will help a bit since it basically pushes the gastrocnemius muscle further out, however, it’s important to keep in mind that when you perform any basic calf raise even with your knees straight like in a standing calf raise or a leg press calf raise or a machine calf raise, you’re actually hitting both the gastrocnemius and the soleus at the same time.

So even if you never performed any seated calf raise work at all your soleus would still end up getting plenty of stimulation regardless, and that, combined with the fact that it’s already a very small muscle to begin with, overall I’d say that in most cases seated calf raises probably aren’t going to make much if any real noticeable difference to your bottom line calf gains assuming that you’re doing a sufficient amount of regular straight legged calf raise work.

Now if calves are a particular weak point for you, and you want to squeeze out every possible ounce of growth and you have the extra time and energy to throw in a few sets of seated calf raises here and there then that’s totally fine, it’s not going to hurt you, but the main take away point here is that whether you do seated calf raises or not, number 1 the difference in your overall calf growth will likely be minor if anything, and number 2, standard straight legged calf work is far more important for building up your calf size and it should always be given full priority in your calf training.

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