The calf is an extremely important muscle group and vital that we keep it strong to prevent injury. Every time we land from a jump, plant our foot when walking or running, or step off a curb our calf muscle absorbs the force. If they are not strong enough then this force will be absorbed by our joints (foot, ankle, knee, hip and lower back) and increase the risk of injury.
How to complete the exercise:
- Start standing with both feet on the floor (double leg calf raise) or one foot (for single calf raise). You can place your hands on a wall for balance
- Slowly push all the way up on your toes, with the weight evenly distributed through the big and little toes. This helps to evenly strengthen the calf muscles.
- Slowly lower to the starting position.
- Repeat for 10-15 repetitions or as recommend by your therapist.
- It is important that this movement is completed slowly and controlled.
For runners and jumping sports (netball, basketball, volleyball etc) this is an important exercise to reduce the risk of calf tears, achilles pain and tendinopathy.
Did you know that when running, your calf muscles generate large muscle forces as much as 3-8 x your own body weight.
Runners and jumpers should be able to achieve at least 3 x 15 single leg repetitions and for those with previous injury may need to add extra.
Once you are able to complete bodyweight calf raises then we need to increase the load by adding weights. This can be done at home with weights/books/canned food in a backpack or holding weights by your side.
Give them a go and let us know how you go!
Any questions do not hesitate to get in contact with one of our physios at Active Answers Physiotherapy in Seaforth