The calves are muscle groups located in the lower part of your legs, below the knees.
Besides making the leg look nice and fit, these muscles provide balance when you walk and run, supporting a good part of your body weight.
Also, training the calves will help you run faster and for prolonged periods.
Thus, finding the best calf machine is essential for reaching calf training goals, as it makes exercising possible regardless of the weather.
Below you will find all the information needed to make an informed decision regarding the best calf machine.
- 0.1 What is a Calf Raise Machine?
- 0.2 Benefits of Using Calf Machine
- 0.3 What is The Best Calf Machine for Raising Calf?
- 0.4 Why XMARK is the Best Brand for Raising Calf?
- 1 The Comparison Table of Best Calf Machine
- 2 10 Best Calf Machine Reviews
- 2.1 01. XMark 11-Gauge – Best Calf Raise Machine
- 2.2 02. Body-Solid Leverage Squat – Best Standing Calf Machine
- 2.3 03. Soozier Adjustable Steel – Best Seated Calf Machine
- 2.4 04. Valor Fitness CC-5 Seated
- 2.5 05. TDS 1000 Rated
- 2.6 06. Body-Solid Powerline
- 2.7 07. Deltech Fitness Calf Machine
- 2.8 08. Tibia Dorsi Calf Machine
- 2.9 09. Powertec Fitness Levergym Squat/Calf Black
- 2.10 10. TDS Super Seated Calf Unit
- 3 Buying considerations Best Calf Machine
- 4 FAQ’s Best Calf Raise Machine
- 5 Conclusion
What is a Calf Raise Machine?
A calf raise machine is an exercising machine specially developed for the training of all the muscles comprising the calves, which are gastrocnemius, peroneal, tibialis posterior, and soleus.
Benefits of Using Calf Machine
- Stronger calves mean more stability to your feet and ankles, useful especially for women preferring to wear heels;
- The performance of your lower body increases, for complex and complicated squats;
- Speed can be increased in the case of runners and joggers;
- It avoids injuries and sore muscles due to further training and activities;
- Properly trained muscles protect the joints;
What is The Best Calf Machine for Raising Calf?
Raising calves is not an easy task, since these muscles are made to withstand movements of large volumes, resisting both a high degree of damage and growth of the leg as well.
Thus, this is the reason you should use a calf machine if you want to obtain proper calf raising results.
The best calf machine is the one that answers your needs while staying within budget, so doing research is helpful before making a purchase.
Why XMARK is the Best Brand for Raising Calf?
XMARK is one of the most appreciated and preferred brands when it comes to raising calves because it offers an effective and durable design, the possibility to use Olympic plates if you’re looking for higher performances, and overall great customer satisfaction.
The Comparison Table of Best Calf Machine
|Soozier Adjustable Steel|
10 Best Calf Machine Reviews
01. XMark 11-Gauge – Best Calf Raise Machine
- 11-gauge steel used for its making, for a sturdy machine;
- Features anti-skid protection pads at the bottom;
- The height of the thigh pads is adjustable and the pads can rotate;
- Is equipped with a wide non-slip foot bar;
- It provides weight posts suitable for Olympic plates;
The only way to build powerful calves is with the help of a special calf raise machine, and this product was created to deliver precisely this.
The machine is incredibly steady, due to the high-quality materials that were used for its making and the solid welds that keep it together.
To avoid the machine from skidding as you train, and to protect the floor at the same time, protection pads were added on all four legs of the machine.
A foot brace bar and softly padded seat have the goal of making training sessions effective yet comfortable.
The product can be a good investment since it provides adequate support for Olympic plates, even if you’re not at that level just yet.
Also, the powder coat finish ensures durability to be used without the risk of scratches and damages to the frame.
Many users prefer XMark for their home gym and the description of this product shows the reasons behind such a choice.
- Installation is simple, with instructions from the manual;
- Good quality welds and finish of the frame;
- It will remain stable, even with a considerable number of weights on;
- The handles may not be in the best position for everybody;
02. Body-Solid Leverage Squat – Best Standing Calf Machine
- A high-quality machine that can hold up to 800 lbs.;
- Adjustable diamond plate foot platform;
- Can be used for calf raises, but also for training the glutes, things, and lower back muscles;
- Special DuraFirm pads that protect the shoulders during training;
- Heavy-duty frame, for resilience and reliability;
The majority of the public gyms offer seated calf raise machines, so for those looking for the standing option, the machine comes with the much-needed answer.
It is a sturdy, high-quality machine for its price tag, allowing users to enjoy a consistent workout every time.
The best part about this machine is that you can train more than just the calves.
It can train the entire lower part of the body, giving the user the chance to perform exercises for the thighs, glutes, and muscles located in the lower back.
Training can now take place at home, in a comfortable and safe environment, due to the features provided by this calf machine.
With its help, you can perform calf raises without any risks involved.
There are high chances you’ll appreciate the pads on the machine, specially designed to keep the back and shoulders safe and comfortable during training.
Plus there’s plenty of room to store weights on the machine, having everything in handy during workouts.
- Great standing calf raise machine, for those not looking for a seated version;
- A well-built and solid machine for the price;
- Good quality exercising and fluid movements during training;
- Very poor instructions for the installation of the product;
03. Soozier Adjustable Steel – Best Seated Calf Machine
- Ergonomic design that makes the machine user friendly;
- The foot platform will eliminate the stress caused by pressure triggered during training;
- Both the seat and thigh pads can be adjusted;
- The frame can hold up to 440 lbs.;
- Suitable to be used with Olympic weights as well;
When we look to purchase equipment for our home gym, we want to make sure that it is well made and capable of providing the results we’re after.
According to the manufacturer, this machine was created and designed in collaboration with biomechanical engineers, so that best results become a possibility when training with this machine.
Thus, the design is ergonomic and made to train the calves at the highest level possible.
The machine is also adjustable, allowing the user to make the necessary changes to make training sessions effective, safe, and comfortable.
Speaking of comfort, this calf raise machine provides a foot platform that was designed to reduce fatigue triggered by this type of workout.
As well, the handles covered with rubber, for a safer grip, are made to enhance the user’s experiences.
Even the seat of the machine has a role to play in getting the muscle more engaged in the workout.
If it ticks most boxes, it could be a good option to consider for performing calf raises at home.
- Sturdy calf raise machine for the price tag;
- Provides consistent calf training sessions;
- Stable yet easy to move around, if needed;
- The padding may not be as thick as some users may prefer;
04. Valor Fitness CC-5 Seated
- Built to be durable and stable throughout workouts;
- Can be adjusted to 6 different heights and 5 horizontal positions;
- Diamond footplates for increased grip and stability;
- Can support loads of up to 350 lbs.;
- Suitable to be used with Olympic weights;
If a good-quality calf raise machine on the budget is a fitness goal you want to reach, this product can be an ideal candidate.
The price tag is accessible and the machine is quite sturdy, with welds done neatly and a powder coat that is thick and resilient.
This means you’ll be able to use the machine for years in a row without any problem.
An advantage of this product is the clear instructions that come along, meant to make the assembly process easy and fast.
The manufacturer even provides some elementary tools, but if you own some proper tools, the installation process could be completed faster.
Another plus that should be mentioned is the thick padding provided for the knee pads. Pushing into these pads will be a piece of cake.
However, the footplates, even if they have a diamond design for increased stability, can’t be adjusted and their flat positioning may trigger sore feet.
Overall, it’s a very good calf machine for a home gym, capable of answering a wide range of requirements.
- Straightforward instructions for the assembly of the machine;
- Thick padding for the knees;
- Solid calf machine for intense workouts;
- The footplate is flat, instead of being slightly inclined, so the feet can get sore after a workout;
05. TDS 1000 Rated
- Simple and easy to assembly and use;
- Can be used with Olympic plates;
- Capable of supporting weights of up to 1000 lbs.;
- The height of the machine is adjustable, with a maximum value of 62 inches;
- Provides a footplate with a diamond design;
You don’t wish for an expensive and complicated machine, but one that does its job right and offers an easy installation process?
Then this product may be the right choice for you. Its simple design allows a very fast assembly, without the need for professional support.
However, despite looking like a simple machine, its frame is very solid and sturdy, allowing a user to add Olympic plates to their training sessions.
Anyone looking for a standing calf raise machine will find that this product delivers as expected.
Fine tunings are also possible due to available bolts and nuts.
Because the design of the machine is simple, the user will be able to perform only one type of exercise with its help.
However, the effectiveness of this exercise will be high and will provide growth of the calf muscles without a doubt.
So, it was designed for a purpose and it is capable of serving that purpose without any issues.
- Installation is quick;
- The footplate is wide;
- Solid machine for effective training;
- Trains only one muscle group;
06. Body-Solid Powerline
- Solid steel frame with a 10-year warranty;
- Highly adjustable to suit users of all sizes;
- The foot platform is angled, for increased comfort;
- The training surface is non-slip, allowing a full range of motions;
- A 3 to 1 weight ratio is needed to use the machine properly;
When looking to buy machines for a home gym, it may be difficult to stay faithful to a budget, since they can get rather expensive.
However, it is possible to find good quality for your buck, as the example of this calf raise machine.
According to some users, it is not the sturdiest on the market, but if you use it as intended and pay attention to making the right adjustments.
You can save a good amount of money if you choose to purchase this machine, instead of a more expensive version.
In the end, it’s all about how much you’re willing to spend to get the features you wish for. Apart from this, the machine does its job.
It is a seated version of a calf isolator, helping the user obtain the calf growth he or she desires.
As recommended by the manufacturer, try to respect the 3 to 1 weight ratio for a proper calf workout.
Other aspects worth knowing are that the machine can support up to 200 lbs. of training weights and 300 lbs. of user body weight.
- Simple assembly instructions;
- Good quality for the price tag;
- Provides intense training to the calves;
- Its design and the frame are not the sturdiest, so slight improvements may be needed as you go;
07. Deltech Fitness Calf Machine
- Soft knee pads that can be adjusted to need, covered with vinyl for easy cleaning;
- An adapter is included for using standard or Olympic plates with the machine;
- The machine is made out of heavy gauge steel tubes;
- Can withstand up to 500 lbs.;
- Footrest covered with a non-slip material;
For a couple of hundred bucks, it is possible to perform calf raises in the comfort and privacy of your home, especially if you choose this product.
It is not the sturdiest, but for the paid price the level of quality is quite surprising.
The assembly of the product is easy as well, the package including wrenches for this part.
Just be careful at some parts from the user’s manual, as some users state that the instructions are mixed.
But you will have no problems figuring out how things come together since the design is not that complicated.
The knee pads can be easily adjusted, although this feature is not available for the seat as well.
Still, the seat is quite long, so you can position yourself as you consider most suitable.
Another positive aspect is that the machine is quite stable, without having to put a lot of weights on it. So, using it right away will not be too problematic.
- Good quality for the price;
- Resilient enough for daily training sessions;
- Easy installation, with wrenches included in the package;
- The thickness of the steel tubes reflects the price tag, so they are not very thick, compared to a gym machine;
08. Tibia Dorsi Calf Machine
- Made out of good quality steel;
- Can be used with Olympic plates;
- Great for getting rid of shin splints;
- High-quality top finish;
- Great for joggers and bodybuilders as well;
Sometimes we wish to get large exercising machines, but the space in our home does not allow us to make such choices.
This is when this type of machine comes into the scene. It is small and compact, occupying very little space.
At the same time, it does its job, allowing an effective training of the calf muscles. To whom it is recommended?
Runners that suffer from shin splints may find support in this machine, which allows a proper training of the muscles to avoid the side effects of long jogging sessions.
But it can be a great choice for bodybuilders as well since it will lead to nicely sculpted calves with the right training routine.
Even though it can be used on its own, this product can be a good addition to an existed seated calf machine, increasing the intensity of the training and adding more value to one’s fitness goals.
Results can be visible after a month of using the machine, so it can be a great buy for anyone looking to improve the aspect and performance of the lower leg muscles.
- Solid machine for the price;
- It does its job well, training the calf muscles properly;
- A good compromise if space is not available for a larger machine;
- A larger gap between the food pad and footboard may exist;
09. Powertec Fitness Levergym Squat/Calf Black
- It allows the performance of several types of exercises;
- It supports weights of up to 500 lbs.;
- The handlebar has an innovative design that allows finishing and starting an exercise at the top;
- Nice finish and good-looking welds;
Even if we could use a calf machine, maybe not all of us wish to invest in a machine that does only that.
Thus, an option that provides the opportunity to perform a wider range of movements may be a much better choice.
So, while this machine trains the calves, it is also great for performing squats and shrugs.
This means that that your workout routine won’t get boring, since you have quite a few options in hand.
At the same time, your buttocks will also enjoy proper training, not just your thighs and calves.
The quality of the product is very good and its stability will be quite surprising.
- Easy to assemble;
- Great quality machine;
- Versatile in term of uses;
- The grip of the foot bar is not the greatest, so additional improvements may be needed;
10. TDS Super Seated Calf Unit
- The base of the machine is extra wide, for better stability;
- Can support up to 800 lbs.;
- The foot piece is covered with non-slippery rubber;
- Can be used by people of all heights;
This product is a calf machine with a simple design, made to be used by people of all heights.
Thus, even tall people can fit this machine to their needs. Speaking of simple design.
This will help you put the machine together since the instructions are not good enough to help you through the process.
However, with a bit of patience, it won’t be hard to figure out how to assembly the machine. Of course, some tools are needed as well.
In the end, you’ll get a machine that will work just fine, featuring a sturdy frame, resilient enough for daily use.
Still, the recommendation is to avoid reaching the maximum weight load, as this can lead to premature damages.
It may not have all the features provided by an expensive machine, but for the price, it will do its job right.
- The seat won’t move during training, just the weights;
- Sturdy enough for daily uses;
- Good padding for the seat and knees;
- Doesn’t have proper instructions for its assembly;
Buying considerations Best Calf Machine
Do you need a seated or standing calf machine?
Before you even start looking for a calf machine, you need to decide which version is best in your case.
As you will find out, there are seated calf machines and standing calf machines.
Also, there’s a difference in using one machine over the other.
So, if you want to make a wise choice, you need to know the differences between these two types of machines and choose the one that is most suitable in your case.
Of course, there are other factors to consider.
If you always liked the calves displayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger in his youth years, then you must know that a standing calf machine can help you get there.
This is possible because this kind of machine allows the use of bigger weights as you train and target, primarily, the gastrocnemius muscle, which is the one responsible for the shape of the calf.
So, if you want bigger and thicker calves, the standing machine will help you achieve this goal.
The seated calf machine, on the other hand, is more effective in isolating the calf muscle during training.
When you bend the knees during training on a standing calf machine, you’ll use more than just the calf to perform the movement.
So, if you want something specific for the calf muscles, the seated version will perform better.
Also, it will make the entire outer lower leg look better by training a muscle responsible for this part, called the soleus.
How much are you willing to spend?
The budget is one of the most important factors to consider, as it will dictate the features provided by the calf machine.
The price range of these products can vary a lot, the cheapest models costing slightly over $200, while the expensive, high-end versions can cost as much as $4000.
As you can see, there’s enough wiggle room when it comes to calf machines.
Seated versions are usually more accessible than standing machines, as the last ones need to be sturdier to support your weight and whatever weights you may be used during training.
So, after checking out the market, determine how flexible your budget is and how close you can get to the machine that can provide all the features and quality you desire.
If you plan to use the machine intensely, it may be worth investing in a sturdier machine.
But if you need it for improving your overall state of health only, then you may consider a cheaper option, as long as it supports your weight adequately.
How much available space do you have?
Exercising machines tend to be quite large, requiring a lot of space once they are installed.
Calf machines in particular cannot be folded, so once they are assembled, they will remain where they are placed.
Thus, check the dimensions of a machine before buying it, making sure you have room to install and use it safely.
It is worth mentioning that there are compact machines on the market as well if there isn’t that much space available.
As a tip, when you’re tempted to purchase a larger machine, make sure it is sturdy enough to support your body weight and the weights you plan to add to it.
Do you plan on using weight plates? If yes, how large will they be?
When shopping for calf machines, you need to remember that weight plates are available as an optional.
So you won’t get them together with the machine, despite what the picture may show.
The machines will have, however, special supports for holding and storing your weight plates.
Then you need to decide whether you will use standard weight plates or Olympic weight plates.
If Olympic plates are your option, you need to make sure the calf machine has plate wholes large enough to accommodate your plates of choice.
In other words, standard plates require wholes of 1 inch, while Olympic plates will need wholes measuring 2 inches.
Consider the maximum weight capacity
This is another aspect you need to consider because it affects the number of weights you will be able to use in the end on your calf machine.
When considering this part, try not to launch yourself at machines that can support a lot of weight.
Take into account the weights that allow you to exercise safely and comfortably.
The possibility to stack weights and add them gradually to your training is certainly an advantage, but always consider your current performances and fitness goals when selecting the desired maximum weight capacity.
FAQ’s Best Calf Raise Machine
Can I make my calves bigger at home?
Muscles need the training to grow, so if you can train them in any way then you’ll finally obtain some results.
However, the quality of the results depends on the employed method. At home, it is usually difficult to achieve top results, due to the lack of training gear.
Thus, if you want to move to a different level and enjoy visible results, a calf machine, in this case, can be a great option.
If you choose it right, it will help you build bigger calves in the comfort of your home.
Is it worth investing in a calf machine?
This answer depends on your fitness goals. If you wish to have bigger calves or increasing your stamina and performance when jogging or unrolling other activities that assume using your legs, then a calf machine can be a great investment.
Calf machines are great for exercises meant to improve your strength and physical power, but also as a means to achieve different fitness goals and correct your posture.
Since the calves play an important role in supporting your body weight, helping them get stronger will have a benefic impact on your body’s overall posture.
Which are more effective, standing raises or sitting raises?
To find the best answer to this question, you will need to determine what is most important to you.
Since the standing calf machine offers different kinds of results compared to a sitting machine.
If you want thick calves, with a considerable inside width, the standing raises will get you there.
This kind of training will provide that up-side-down heart-shaped calves many crave.
However, the sitting raises will make the calves look larger on the sides, adding more volume to the muscles overall.
So, it all goes down to the goals you want to reach and how you prefer exercising.
The ideal recipe, still, should include both kinds of raises, since they activate different sets of muscles in the calves.
Do I need to train my calves daily?
Muscles need to get work to grow large, but it depends on how you work them out if you want to obtain results safely.
In case you want to work out every day, you should avoid using weights that are too large.
Instead, choose weights that work your muscles, but without burning them excessively.
You may feel sore at first, but sticking to the training routine will help you get over it fast.
In case you want to use large weights and prefer pushing your muscles.
It would be a good idea to take a break now and then, to avoid premature damage to your muscles.
It is enough to perform calf raises to grow bigger calves?
Calf raises are great for building bigger and stronger muscles, but they will help you only up to a point on their own.
If you want to get all the benefits of strength training, it’s always best to perform a variety of exercises, such as lunges or squats, meant to develop other muscles of your legs.
This will add up to your strength and will make the muscles have a balanced aspect.
If growing your calves is on your fitness goals list, if you want to get rid of shin splints.
Or simply wish to grow stronger and better-looking legs, a calf machine will significantly contribute to making your dreams come true.
You just need to do your homework and decide how you plan to use a calf machine, how much you’re willing to spend on one.
And how will your training session look like to be able to select the best calf machine for your goals?