Exercise of the Week – Calf Raisers

by Tia Dewick in Training

Within weight training many people forget about their calves and focus heavily on their quadriceps and hamstrings. However, the calves are an essential muscle group that are required within day to day life to help with lower leg movement with both balance and control. Which is even more beneficial within deconditioned individuals! Therefore, the calf raisers are a perfect exercise to help you develop the strength of the lower legs which consists of basic up and down movement around the ankle joint which can be incorporated into a standing or sitting posture. This exercise can be done even at the bottom of the stairs and so start your weekend strong by completing some calf raisers today!


Standard Technique

1.       Stand on the edge of a step with your feet shoulder width apart with only the balls of your feet in contact with the step (ensure you have enough room to bend and extend your heel).

2.       Gently relax your fingertips on the wall to provide yourself with some support and balance.

3.       Ensure your back and legs remain nice and straight (no bend in the knee).

4.       Descend your feet below the step and push your heels up above the step as high as you can.



Beginners may want to consider holding dumbbells and executing the up and down movement of the ankle on flat ground as opposed to on the edge of a step for greater stability

Alternatively, further variations of calf raisers include the following:

Internally rotate the feet

Externally rotate the feet

Sitting on a bench with your feet out in front with the knee flexed into a right angle (placing dumbbells, a bar or a power bag on your thigh to apply additional weight)

Gyms often provide fixed machine versions to fully isolate the calf