Guide to buy calf raise machine for home
At the gym, it is not hard to find someone with a well-developed upper body, or even with thighs. However, when was the last time you see someone with big and well-shaped calves. It is not typical.
Without a doubt, for a lot of people, those are the muscles groups which are really hard to gain. Even, Arnold Schwarzenegger had to spend a lot of time making his lower legs perfect. Why do calves gain so hard? Well, in most of the cases our genes are responsible, but with dedication and the right type of calf training, we can win.
A handy equipment to target that area is the calf raise machine since it lets us to focus on your lower legs locking out other muscles.
Do you think about buying one for home? Look no further because below you can find our calf machine buying guide, comparison and reviews to find the most suitable calf exercise equipment for you.
In a hurry? Here are the best calf raise machines at a glance.
Top Rated Calf Raise Machines Reviews
1. XMark Fitness Seated Calf Raise Machine – Best Seated Calf Press
The XM-7613 is a heavy-duty home gym equipment made from 11-gauge 2” x 3” steel. Robust and stable. Thick rubber caps at the end of the stabilizers help avoid shaking and protects the floor.
On the Dual Olympic plate weight posts, you can put on a maximum of 6 plates per side. However, there is no need to use too heavy plates because of the leverage which generates more resistance than other machines do.
You can adjust the height of the thigh pad quickly. Also, it rotates while doing calf raises so it is much more comfortable than using a static pad. You can also set the distance between the seat and the thigh pads quickly.
It comes with Ultra-thick 3″ Duracraft cushioning which provides convenient and reliable surface while working out.
Problems? Guys taller than 6.4 feet find it a bit short.
To sum up, XM-7613 is a gym quality unit with advanced functions providing excellent lower leg workout experience. It is best seated calf raise machine for everyone.
- Build strong, powerful calves with the XMark Seated Calf Raise XM-7613.
- XMark’s seated calf raise features 11-gauge 2” x 3” steel construction, bolted on skid resistant feet and a scratch resistant, baked powder coat finish.
2. Roger Stewart Extreme Calf Machine II – Black
You can never go wrong with Roger Stewart Extreme Calf Machine that’s designed to stretch and contract your calf muscles individually.
What makes it an outstanding item is that it’s easier and more convenient to use; just place this equipment on the floor and you’re ready to do calf exercises.
What are the features of this product?
Roger Stewart Extreme Calf Machine uses a patented pedal, giving a lightweight but durable surface for your calf muscles. What’s more, you’ll get to experience an increased blood and oxygen flow, thanks to its pivoting pedal.
It contains two pivoting platforms that guarantees both calves’ and legs’ strength, stretch, and contraction. You don’t need any additional assistance when using this product.
Even personal trainers find this product useful. Reviews show that the Roger Stewart Extreme Calf Machine II strengthened their tibialis anterior and improved their Achilles tendon. Even athletes use this product to shape their calf muscles.
It is also a heavy-duty calf gym machine that has a 400 lbs weight capacity. It has a dimension of 24″ length, 8″ width, and 4″ height. You’ll like how this product ensures your safety in mind, considering that it uses a non-slip platform with 3″ x 9″ dimension.
Aside from black, Roger Stewart Extreme Calf Machine II comes in different colors: white, red, raw, and silver.
Lastly, the product comes with exercise instructions. Exercises included are the proper standing and seated calf raise exercises, donkey calf raise, and single calf raise.
3. Liftoff Calf Raise Machine
Third on this round up is the Liftoff Calf Raise Machine designed for shaping legs and calves in mind.
This product is considered by many athletes and personal trainer as their leg and calf exerciser. It particularly enhances their speed and vertical jumps.
Aside from vertical jumps, Liftoff Calf Raise Machine builds and stretches your calves. In this way, you’ll increase balance, posture, and stability.
Coaches love this product, as they use the Liftoff Calf Raise Machine to train their players, like basketball and volleyball. You’ll also enjoy toned legs while using this calf raise machine as one of your lower body exercises.
In terms of dimensions, the Liftoff Calf Raise Machine delivers. It’s 12″ wide and 11″ length, while the lower part of this machine is 1″ off the ground and 8″ long. The bands used are made of solid brands, guaranteeing a sturdy platform for your calves and legs.
- Leg Exerciser - Calf Machine - speed training, vertical jump trainer, leg toner
4. Powerline PSC43X Seated Calf Machine – Affordable
If you cannot afford the previous models, then PSC43X is a more suitable item for you. Not as professional as the former ones, but for home usage, it is still a good buy.
It also has adjustable knee pads that can be modified vertically. Horizontal adjustment is not available, although the pad turns, so it provides a bit adjustability.
An exciting feature is the 3 to 1 ratio meaning you lift 3 times more than the load you put on the plate holders. This is beneficial if you only have a few plates yet, or if you can already lift heavy since you do not need a lot of weights. The bar supports both Olympic and standard plates.
There are two features that not everyone likes. The rounded non-slip foot brace bar but if you lift heavy, it may hurt your soles. The other is the thin thigh pads which also a bit uncomfortable under heavy lifting.
To conclude for home use this machine is worth to buy, but I would not suggest for heavy lifters.
5. TDS Tibia Dorsi Calf Machine – For Strengthening the Front of Your Shin
All the gym stuff above are for building your calves. But, what about the front of your shin? That area also takes place in moves and required for a balanced and stable lower body.
Well, this simple yet effective device is made for that.
Tibia calf machine comes with pillow block bearings that help to have a full range of motion and frictionless movement.
The padding is long and thick. It does not hurt your feet but keeps them in the right place.
The bar supports only Olympic plates, and since it is close to the ground, you cannot use weight with large diameters. Customers use it with maximum 20-25 lb plates. But, there is no need to apply heavy loads for this exercise.
Bottom line: If you need a comfortable and well-functioning machine to strengthen the front of your shin, TDS is the best buy.
A bit of anatomy
It is essential to know what are the muscles of your lower leg to pick the right gym stuff for you. Actually, it is made up of two muscles.
- Gastrocnemius which has two heads and are the big ones. They are the ones that are visible.
- Soleus which is a flat muscle under the gastrocnemius. Hence, it is smaller.
Calf Workout Machine Types
While there is various equipment out there, the two most known calf exercise machines are the seated and standing. Both have its advantages and disadvantages.
Standing calf raise machines
- Because of the standing position, your calves get more load.
- You can target the gastrocnemius muscles, the big ones better, leading to muscles strength and size gain.
- Suitable for lifting heavier weights with lower reps, but also for high reps with light weights.
- You cannot unlock other body parts. Your shoulders are under pressure, also your back, core and arms are used.
- They are high home gym equipment.
Fitness Seated calf machines
- Because you are in a sitting position, you can lock out the other parts of your body focusing only on your lower legs.
- It targets the soleus muscle better.
- They are more compact and affordable than standing ones.
- Doesn’t work the gastrocnemius muscles so well.
So, considering that the two muscles of the calves are gastrocnemius and soleus, the best would be to have both machines, but that is quite an investment.
From my experience, a standing calf exercise machine is more versatile and lets us various feet placements so I would get that if I only had money for one. Also, it works the gastrocnemius, the big muscles sufficiently.
If you have not used any of them before, I suggest you go to a commercial gym and try both before purchasing to see and feel how it works for you.
What to look for when buying
The type of resistance: You can get a machine with weight stacks. Hence, you do not need to own weight plates to use it. However, it has a limit so you may outgrow it in the future. I prefer a free weight machine since it supports my development in the long run. Although, you need to have plates to use it. Units in most of the cases support standard plates. If you have 2″ Olympic plates, you can use adapter sleeves.
Standing or seated? That is your choice but as I said before if you can afford only one get a standing calf unit.
Adjustability: The sitting versions come with adjustable knee pads to locate the optimal height for your legs.
Will you have enough space? – Check out the dimensions to know if you have enough space to use it comfortably. (Add a few feet around it.)
Maximum capacity: The higher the maximum weight the product stands, the better. It is a sign that the piece of equipment is made from heavy-duty, long-lasting materials. Possibly, the frame must be made of steel.
Padding comfort: Check out customer reviews to know if the heavy shoulder padding gives a convenient training experience. Optimal padding does not hurt your knees and shoulders, but keep them in the “right place” during your calf workouts.
Do you have more questions about calf machines? Ask below.
Last update on 2021-01-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API