- Target muscle: Gastrocnemius
- Synergists: Soleus
- Mechanics: Isolation
- Force: Push
Note: The hack machine calf raise basically involves performing a calf raise in a hack squat machine. There are quite a few different types of hack squat machine. With some machines, in order to perform a calf raise, you’ll have to stand in the machine, facing out (supine); with other machines, you’ll have to stand in the machine, facing in (prone). This description will only cover the prone hack machine calf raise.
- Stand in the hack squat machine, facing in (prone).
- Extend the arches and heels of your feet off the foot platform.
- Straighten your back and hips.
- Unlatch the lever so that the machine can move freely (although this might not be necessary).
- Keeping your knees slightly flexed, exhale as you extend your ankles to raise the hack squat machine as much as possible.
- Hold for a count of two.
- Inhale as you slowly flex your ankles to lower the machine until you feel a mild stretch in your calves.
- Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.
- If you unlatched the lever at the start, when you have finished, make sure to relatch the lever.
Comments and tips
- Keep your back and hips straight.
- Keep your knees slightly flexed. Do not lock them out.
- Keep the movement slow and under full control.
- In order to emphasize the lateral head of your gastrocnemius, turn your toes inward. To emphasize the medial head, turn your toes outward. And to place equal emphasis on each head, keep your toes pointing forward.
- Also known as the hack calf raise.
- See also the sled calf press and the machine standing calf raise.