Seated Calf Raises
Stand with the balls of your feet on the standing calf raise machine with the pads on your shoulders. Lower your body with your calves, inhale, raise your body and exhale.
To perform this exercise you need to adjust the shoulder pads to accommodate your height. You could stand on the machine with your knees slightly bent to give an idea of where the pad should be. The idea here is to keep the weight elevated throughout the exercises, even on the complete stretch of your calves. Once adjusted, stand on the edge of the foot plate with the balls of your feet. Position the shoulder pads on your shoulders. Keep your back and body straight. Your legs should also be straight but not locked out. Keep your knees and feet facing forward throughout the exercise. You should lower yourself using your calves until you get a good stretch and then raise yourself as far as you can to get a full contraction. Your calves are stressed daily, as a result they require higher reps and weight for development. You should perform the exercise until you feel a burn! The weight and the rep count will vary with your routine, but the underlying idea remains the same - don't worry about overwhelming your calves.
To alleviate some of the pressure of the weight on your back you could use a hack squat machine, a laying squat machine, or a leg press machine.
Your calf consists of three muscles. You have the medial (inside facing) and the lateral (outside facing) gastrocnemius head. These make up the bulk of your calf. There is also a slim muscle that extends in a line from both sides of your calf called the Soleus. You could isolate these muscles in performing calf raises. To isolate the lateral head (the outside facing calves) you should position your feet with toes facing in, each other. To isolate the medial head (the inside facing calf) you need to keep your feet facing out and away from each other. Don't over do the angle on either one. Fifteen degrees in or our is sufficient. To isolate the Soleus you should flex your knees. This removes some of the pressure from the Gastrocnemius to the Soleus.