- 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 medial head of your gastrocnemius, turn your toes outward. To place equal emphasis on each head, keep your toes pointing forward or turn them inward.
- See also the hack machine calf raise, the sled calf press, and the machine standing calf raise.