Smith Machine Calf Raise

Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) Calves
Secondary Muscle(s) None
Equipment Machine
Emphasis Isolation
Type Push

Smith Machine Calf Raise Instructions

  • Place one or two plates in front of the machine.
  • Be in a strong athletic position: knees flexed, core and glutes activated, chest up, and shoulders back. 
  • Get underneath the bar, placing it on your traps. Stand on the end of the plate on the balls of your feet.
  • Feet are pointed straight ahead. 
  • With your knees slightly bent, make sure your heels are off the plates.
  • In a controlled manner, flex/extend at the ankle through a full range-of-motion.
    • Keep your strong, starting position throughout the movement. Don't let your core or shoulder position collapse.
    • Maintain a slight knee flex from start to finish.
  • Conscientiously control the exercise by lengthening and shortening your calf musculature. 
    • At the top (full plantar flexion), think about driving your heel into the back of your knee.
    • Don't just press the balls of your feet into the floor.
  • Don't bounce the weight up. Really emphasize controlling the exercise with your calves.


  • Establish a strong mind-muscle connection and be deliberate with each repetition. 
  • Experiment with different rep schemes and various time-under-tension protocols. 
  • Don't actively point your feet internally or externally. This will have no real effect on the execution of the exercise.
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