The calf is one of the most underrated yet utilized muscles of the human body. It contains the gastrocnemius (larger calf muscle) and the soleus (smaller, flat muscle). 

Altogether, they are responsible for supporting our body weight, enabling mobility, propelling forward and backward motions on our lower extremities, and all sorts of other leg things like jumping, rotating, flexing, and locking.

It can be easy to consider walking as a good enough exercise for the legs, which it is, but training calves to meet a certain level of development, preventing injury, or gaining better stability and strength on the ankles, would require more discipline, challenge, and the right machine. 

In this article, we focus on reviewing the 10 best calf machines you could find online in every category possible – from our top choice the XMark XM-7613 Seated Calf Raise Machine with its well-rounded features to the most budget-friendly to the best calf raise machine with the heaviest load capacity imaginable.  

Best Calf Machines at a Glance

BEST OVERALL
XMark 11-Gauge Seated Calf Raise Machine
9.7
XMark 11-Gauge Seated Calf Raise Machine

The sturdy metal frame, adjustable thigh pads, and compact build of this machine make it the best overall among other calf raise machine options on the list.

BEST VERSATILITY
Fitness Master A.P.E. Sled Leg Exercise Machine
9.5
Fitness Master A.P.E. Sled Leg Exercise Machine

This heavyweight speed sled is made of stroking 11-gauge steel with large push handles for versatile strength training workouts and muscle development including the calves.

BEST BUDGET
Body-Solid GSCR349 Seated Calf Raise Machine
9.1
Body-Solid GSCR349 Seated Calf Raise Machine

Aiming for bigger calves does not have to cost a fortune - you can achieve great legs with an amazing product on a budget like the Body-Solid GSCR 349.

XMark XM-7613 Seated Calf Raise Machine – Best Overall

What we like

  • Easy to install using the clear instruction manual
  • Compact built perfectly for small spaces
  • High quality and durable construction overall with spacious seat for larger frames
  • Excellent compatibility with Olympic weights

What we don’t like

  • Olympic posts are too long and seem to not fit standard collars (clamp or spring) 
  • A bit pricier than a standard calf machine
  • The safety level is too far in the front

This seated machine is made with steel material in a baked powder coat finish, topped with gray paint color. It has an approximate weight capacity of 450 lbs, allowing you to load five 45s on each side although this is a rare occasion to none. 

The machine measures 47.5 by 22 by 35 inches, which makes it suitable for small at-home gyms. As with its price, verified purchasers shared that this machine is pricier than usual, yet a small price to pay to benefit from serious calf training.

The height-adjustable, swiveling thigh pads welcome any frame and rotate as you raise, so you can workout comfortably with no awkwardness. This 11-gauge 2” by 3” steel construction also features textured skid-resistant feet, Olympic weight posts, ultra-thick 3” duracraft cushion seat, and rubber molded finger grips.

TDS Super Seated Calf Unit – Best Weight Capacity

What we like

  • Affordable for budget home gyms
  • Features pillow block bearings for a stable seat every time
  • Non-skid surfaces and floorings for nudge-proof calf raises
  • Adjustable for all heights

What we don’t like

  • Lever arm too far from the user seat
  • Thigh pads thickness could be insufficient past 35 lbs. of load
  • No special customizations

The TDS Super Seated Calf Unit is another seated calf raise machine you should consider adding to your humble home gym. It features 4 by 8 inches stitched pads to protect the thighs while hitting your calf workout goal for the day, and a non-slip footrest to keep every movement stable and nudge-free.

This calf raise machine measures 48 by 22 by 40 inches and is suitable for Olympic and standard weight plates. With a load capacity of a staggering 800 lbs, there is no question that this calf machine wins the “best weight capacity” category among all other products. 

This TDS Calf Unit is by far more affordable compared with similar machines in the market, which makes it suitable for beginners or novice lifters who are just getting the hang of doing calf raises. It has an uncomplicated design that allows you to be efficient with your workout.

Body-Solid GSCR 349 – Best Budget

What we like

  • Highly adjustable for all heights and sizes
  • Eliminates stress on the balls of the feet using a unique foot platform
  • Deep calf raises with the 3:1 weight ratio
  • Smooth, friction-free movement from the sealed ball bearings and pillow block at pivotal points

What we don’t like

  • Suitable for standard plates only – Olympic plate adapters to be purchased separately

Training machines can be expensive, so we give you an option that is affordable and does the work no less. This Body-Solid seated calf machine lets you get a good workout in with no jeopardized form or uncomfortable angles.

Body-Solid has over 20 years of experience in the industry, making them veterans in top-notch products. The GSCR 349 is made with an 11-gauge 2 by 3 inches heavy steel frame that measures 47 by 20 by 39 inches overall. It is painted silver across the whole frame, which makes it stand out among other machines. 

With its heavy-duty construction, the Body-Solid GSCR 349 is ideal for commercial gyms. When it comes to performing the seated calf raise, this machine provides an ergonomically angled foot platform that lets you feel more burn on the calves. Get a maximum range of motion and deep muscle fiber penetration, thanks to the 3-inch DuraFirm padding.

Body-Solid GSCL 360 Squat and Calf Raise Machine – Best Multipurpose Calf Machine

What we like

  • Comfortable DuraFirm shoulder pads to lift any volume of plates with no strains
  • Perfectly angled foot platform to achieve a full range of motion
  • Round calf raise block for pre-workout stretches
  • Highly versatile for its price

What we don’t like

  • Accommodates Olympic plates only
  • Lifting bars may rest too low especially for tall people
  • Round calf platform may cause some stability

As a multipurpose and standing calf machine, this equipment measures 62 by 43 by 56 inches and is constructed with extra-large 3 by 3 inches of high tensile strength 12-gauge steel with welded construction on all four sides. It weighs only 170 lbs yet features a staggering weight strength of 800 lbs all together. 

Its heavy-duty frame makes it perfect for experienced lifters looking to crank up their lower body training regime. It is also ideal in commercial gyms or spacious home gyms. Performance-wise, the Body-Solid GSCL 360 features a heavy-gauge diamond plate foot platform set to a 20º angle. 

The thick DuraFirm pads conform perfectly on the shoulders while the round calf raise block eliminates the sharp edges you would find in rectangular platforms. The spring-loaded lockout handle is just within reach. The weight horns hold the plates conveniently for space-saving storage.

Powertec Fitness LeverGym – Best For Small Spaces

What we like

  • A great addition to garage gyms with its compact and space-saving size
  • All-in-one leg home gym equipment
  • Supports a natural and comfortable posture with the angled foot plate
  • Impressive weight capacity

What we don’t like

  • The footrest has no non-skid surface – grip tape to be purchased separately

This has a sleek aesthetic belonging to a 58 by 55 by 64 inches of steel frame construction, topped off with black paint. We have no doubts it will look good in your garage gym with its compact frame and straightforward mechanism. 

Do not let its 198-pound item weight deceive you – this calf raise machine has an impressive weight capacity of 500 lbs to let you work on your leg workouts. Speaking of, you can take advantage of this machine’s versatility by performing multiple exercises like a calf raise, squat, single-leg calf raises, and single-leg squat.

The weight holds are conveniently within reach while the angled footplate lets you find a comfortable angle that lets you raise or squat with no awkwardness. This also features an innovative slide handlebar that makes it easy to go on and off the machine.

Valor Fitness CC-5 Seated Calf Machine – Best for Beginners

What we like

  • Targets the soleus calf muscle with a serious range of motion
  • Fully adjustable to 6 vertical positions and 5 horizontal positions
  • Efficient assembly time as fast as 30 minutes

What we don’t like

  • Some faulty parts that may make some positions uncomfortable
  • Not designed for heavy-duty commercial use

As a professional-looking calf raise machine, the Valor Fitness Calf Machine might surprise you with how beginner-friendly it is. Its 12-gauge steel frame and fair dimension of 55 by 27 by 35 inches are sturdy and great for light commercial use or as home gym equipment. It has a decent weight capacity of 350 lbs and sufficient Oly handles for Olympic plate advocates.

The diamond-plated footplates provide stability during the most arduous calves lift while the chrome-plated sleeves hold the weights well with no reservation. Overall, it is made with an ergonomic design that targets the calf muscle for shin splint prevention and Achilles rehabilitation. 

Moreover, the Valor Fitness CC-5 features steel popper pins, sufficient knee pads, an adjustable support pad, and an adjustable frame to cater to lifters of different sizes, body frames, and heights. Indeed, there is no reason to be intimidated by a beginner-suitable seated calf machine.

Deltech Fitness Seated Calf Machine – Best Comfortable Features

What we like

  • Easy to assemble with all parts provided
  • Angled foot pedestal allows full range of motion
  • Decent machine for personal use considering the comfortable features

What we don’t like

  • Weld for weight plate seems faulty – load over 150 lbs at your own discretion

For the most comfortable seat in the house, the Deltech Fitness Seated Machine has plenty of convenient features to offer. Whether you are an athlete, bodybuilder, or hobby lifter, you will appreciate this calf raise machine for your consideration.

First off, it is made with heavy-gauge steel tubing topped with a tough powder coating finish. It measured 48.5 by 24 by 31.5 inches and weighs 66 lbs – a lighter load to carry compared with other calf raise machines offered in the market. 

It has a clean black and white color combo. Altogether, its compact size and simple style make it perfect for light commercial use or personal use in your own at-home gym. It claims to have a weight capacity of 500 lbs with compatibility with standard and Olympic plates – the Olympic adapter is even included in the package.
Its other features include high-density foam padding, sweat-resistant top-grade vinyl, easy pull-pin adjustments on the leg pad, and a textured footrest for complete safety.

TDS 1000 Rated Standing Calf Machine – Best Durability

What we like

  • Particularly designed for heavy-duty use with its 1,000 load capacity
  • Conducive for gyms with limited space
  • Easy assembly with no extra hands needed
  • High rated customer satisfaction regarding product queries

What we don’t like

  • No designated handlebars for balance
  • For Olympic plates only

If durability is your top priority for a standing calf raise machine, then our bet is on the TDS 1000 Rated Calf Machine. This standing machine measures 50 by 23 by 62 inches and has a top gray coating for a no-frills look. 

Given its model name, it is easy to conclude that any calf raise machine with a 1,000 load capacity has the best durability one could ever find among a plethora of options. Meanwhile, the dual Olympic weight posts can serve as permanent weights storage should you have limited racks in your home gym.

The slip-resistant wide steel deck footplate and slightly raised platform make for safe standing calves raises, stable ankles, and proper form although out. Other features you would appreciate include professional-grade shoulder pads and adjustable height.

Soozier Adjustable Seated Calf Machine – Best Adjustability

What we like

  • Highly adjustable at an affordable price point compared with more expensive counterparts
  • Easy to put together with no professional assistance required
  • Space-saving and perfect for personal use at home

What we don’t like

  • The actual weight capacity is half its claimed volume per verified purchasers
  • Faulty and shaky parts that could be improved to increase the machine’s value

If you prefer highly adjustable calf raise machines to choose from, we recommend the Soozier Adjustable Seated Machine with confidence. 

This is made with powder-coated steel, measuring 48 by 23.25 by 41.75 inches. This space-saving unit is a definite must-have for personal at-home use. Even more, it claims to have an impressive weight capacity of 440 lbs.

Its best features include the soft padded seat and leg cushion, adjustable handle height (5 levels), adjustable front and back handle (4 levels), and non-slip foot pads for stability. It also comes with dual plate holders and a unique foot platform that effectively eliminates stress from the balls of the feet. 

Fitness Master Sled – Best Versatility for Calves and Full Body Workout

What we like

  • Space-saving than any standing or seated calf raise machine
  • Perfect for outdoor exercises if you want to slay your workout session
  • Versatile equipment for full-body training

What we don’t like

  • Requires a spacious area or facility to maximize the sledding action 

Not all calf raise machines are created equal, such as the Fitness Master Sled. Though it is not primarily built for calves raises, it can surely help you hit those calf muscles and achieve your fitness goals faster than you could dream of.

It is made with 11-gauge steel with a durable black powder coat finish and high-grade ½ bolts for sturdy construction. It measures 43 by 11.5 by 8.5 inches, making it slimmer and more space-saving than any seated calf raise machine or standing calf raise machines offered elsewhere.

The rubberized low push handles let you push this sled with full power which then builds more calf muscle mass and gets rid of whatever chicken legs you got. In addition, the large push handles could double as weight storage when the sled is not in use. For extra measures, this sled has replaceable feet so you can prolong the machine’s lifespan.

How much weight the Fitness Master Sled carries is not disclosed on their Amazon page, though judging from the looks of it, we want to say that this powerful sled is capable of loading heavier weights for some truly rigorous training.

Our Verdict

For the best calf raise machine all around, we are biased towards the XMark XM-7613 Seated Calf Raise Machine with its adjustable built, decent 450-lb capacity, and non-skid features. It lets you perform as many calves raise as you please without causing damage to the machine. Some minor improvements could be done, but nothing that will put you off your game.

If full-body workouts are more up your alley, the Fitness Master Sled is a monster machine worth knowing (and purchasing!) You may not strictly perform calf raises with it, but rest assured your cardio training and calf muscles will be taken care of, guaranteed.

Machine Buying Guide: Main Features To Consider When Buying A Calf Machine

Size of the Equipment

Every calf raise machine has its own specifications. We consider that having at least 4 feet all around the equipment is a fair rule of thumb to follow in terms of measurement. This is so your calf raise machine could fit even the smallest home gym and you would have no problems doing explosive calf training.

The Durability of Material Construction

Whether you are eyeing a seated calf raise machine or a standing calf machine, durability is a major factor at stake as far as your whole body weight is concerned. Of course, you should also consider the volume of plates you will be lifting and how frequently you will be using your calf raise machine.

Standing or Seated

In general, standing calf raise machines are more expensive and space-consuming than a seated calf raise machine. However, it has better opportunities of being a piece of multipurpose equipment, which you could utilize for other leg exercises like single-leg squats and shoulder shrugs. 

Meanwhile, seated calf machines really target the gastrocnemius muscle and give you massive calf strength. Before you set your eyes on a specific machine, check out machine reviews that can lead you to make the best decision.

Weight Capacity and Weight Stacks

Calf raise machines differ in their maximum weight load. It could range from a decent 100 lbs to a staggering 800 lbs., which adds up to one more feature to consider. Although performing calf raises does not require a massive load, the total capacity of the equipment will help you gauge its durability over time.

Price

Some calf raise machines will impress you with features you never thought you needed though at a high price to consider, while some machines can provide the same specifications at half the price. Purchasing power highly varies per consumer. If you value expensive equipment, you have plenty of options in store for you. Otherwise, there are also brands that offer mid-range priced calf raise machines that do the work with no fancy features in tow. 

Comfort, Adjustability, and Versatility

Doing explosive calf raises and aiming for muscle growth can be achieved best with the most comfortable machine possible. We do not mean being lax on your training but more about being safe and injury-free throughout your training. 

To be specific, take note if your potential calf raise machine has sufficient knee pads, thick padding or professional quality shoulder pads, quality leather, and an appropriate foot platform to help you get a full range of motion without hurdles. For some instance, perhaps flat foot support is what entails a solid standing calf machine for you!

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, by performing a significant amount of calf raises regularly, you will be able to strengthen your gastrocnemius muscle, gain more calf muscle mass, and even get more stable ankles.

The best calf raise machine for you would depend on your current strength, fitness goals, budget, and space available for the equipment. You should also consider whether you want to perform your calf raises in a standing or seated manner for you to properly narrow down your choices.

Considering functionality, design, build, and effectiveness, we highly recommend XMark XM-7613 for its compact build and superb adjustability, and the Fitness Master Sled for its versatility and durability.

A seated calf raise machine only works on the calf muscles while a standing calf raises machine also utilizes your shoulder muscles. A standing calf machine can also pass as a multipurpose machine as it is able to work the whole body.

  • Powerful calves for everyday walking
  • Stable and strong ankles
  • Better lower body performance
  • Prevents injuries
  • Improves running and sprinting

Similar Posts