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What is a Standing Calf Machine?

By A. Leverkuhn
Updated May 17, 2024
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A standing calf machine is a specific type of fixed weight machine found in gyms and other fitness areas. It is one of two options for a fixed weight machine that will help users work the calf muscles. Calf muscles are located in the back of the lower leg.

A standing calf machine is an alternative to a seated calf machine. Both of these machines work the calves in different ways. A standing calf lift machine uses a weight load that the body distributes. A lot of the weight rests on the calves if the user practices good form.

With a standing calf machine, the user stands on a built-in platform. This platform may be slanted, or may provide for the heels to hang off of the back. The machine user stands straight up, with his or her shoulders braced against a moving platform that carries a weight load. Most standing calf machines allow for different amounts of weight for progressively working the calves.

To use the standing calf machine, the user pushes the backs of his or her feet up off of the platform, raising the body, and putting pressure on the weight load that rests on the shoulders. When the person keeps his or her back straight, this challenges the calf muscles that are assisting in pushing the entire body upward. The user then returns back down to the starting position.

Proper form is important with the standing calf machine to prevent injury. The best way to use this fixed weight machine is with slow, controlled motions. Trainers recommend against “bouncing” or taking the weight load to an extreme position, or moving the weight too quickly.

Along with the fact that some people don’t use the standing calf machine properly, critics have other reasons why they prefer a seated calf machine. Seated calf machines can be easier to use, and don’t require the kind of loose movement of the feet that is part of many standing calf machines. Some people also claim that standing calf machines are uncomfortable because they put so much pressure on the shoulders.

Many athletes and others can benefit from using a standing calf machine to train the legs. Not all casual trainers or fitness beginners need this kind of calf training in their routine. Personal trainers can provide more details on whether or not an individual should use a standing calf machine as one part of their normal workout.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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