- Target muscle: Gastrocnemius
- Synergists: Soleus
- Mechanics: Isolation
- Force: Push
- Stand on the hack machine platform with your back against the rest and the shoulder pads on top of your shoulders.
- Adjust the positions of your feet so that only the balls of your feet are on the platform.
- Raise one foot off the platform.
- Unlatch the hack machine from the rail.
- Keeping your knee almost fully extended, exhale as you push the hack machine up and away from the platform by plantarflexing your ankle (pushing your toes downward).
- Hold for a count of two.
- Inhale as you lower the hack machine back down to the starting position by dorsiflexing your ankle (pulling your toes upward) until you feel a mild stretch in your calf.
- Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.
- Latch the hack machine back on to the rail and repeat with the opposite leg.
Comments and tips
- Keep your back flat against the rest, your hips extended, and the knee you are standing on almost fully extended throughout the exercise.
- Keep the movement slow and deliberate, getting the full range of motion.
- The hack machine one-leg calf raise is a great unilateral exercise for building your calves, which are comprised of your soleus and gastrocnemius. If there is a difference in size or strength between your calves, start with your weaker or smaller side, and do not perform more reps with your stronger or larger side. This will help your weaker side to catch up.
- If the platform of your hack machine does not have an open lower end, you may use a calf block.
- See also the hack machine calf raise and the prone hack machine calf raise.
- For other calf raise exercises, try the seated calf raise, the machine seated one-leg calf raise, and the machine standing calf raise.
Hack machine one-leg calf raise video
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a video of the hack machine one-leg calf raise, but here is a video of the hack machine calf raise. The motion of the hack machine one-leg calf raise is basically the same except, of course, a single leg is used.