Heel raises — Up on toes

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basics here

What it’s good for Strengthening the calf muscles (back of your legs below the knee), which is import­ant for proper walk­ing, run­ning, or push­ing up on to tip­toes (eg, to reach some­thing) and tip-​toe walk­ing. Also helps sharpen your stand­ing bal­ance
How often to do it Daily
Equipment you’ll need win­dow sill, kit­chen work­top, back of a chair or any­thing else sim­il­arly sturdy to rest your hands on for bal­ance sup­port. Even a wall will do.

Standing up on toes, using chair back for support

  • Stand at a win­dow sill or kit­chen sink etc, feet hip-​distance apart and toes point­ing for­wards
  • Rest all your fin­gers on the sur­face (or flat against the wall}
  • Keep your legs straight and push up on to your toes, to lift your heels as high as you can off the ground
  • Try to stay there for a count of 5, look­ing straight ahead
  • Slowly bring your heels back down
  • Rest for a second, then repeat

Aim to repeat the exer­cise 10 times

♦ If you find it hard to keep your legs straight, pull your knees up as you rise up on to your toes
♦ Try to feel that your big toes are sup­port­ing you, so you don’t roll your feet to the out­side edges
♦ If you can’t man­age 10 times at once, keep going until you can’t do any more, then rest, and do the same num­ber again later in the day

Varying the exer­cise for more chal­lenge
Once you can do the basic heel raises, work on improv­ing the aspects below to build even more calf muscle strength and improve your bal­ance

The pro­gres­sions

1. Push up high, not for­wards, so you are not lean­ing over the chair /​sink etc at all

2. Add a second set of 10 raises after a rest

3. Use three fin­gers of each hand for bal­ance instead of all of them

4. Reduce the num­ber of fin­gers for sup­port, then use just one hand

5. Toe walks

  • Start at one side of a clear room (remove obstacles first!)
  • Push up on to your toes and, keep­ing your legs straight (knees pulled up), take small steps on your toes to the oppos­ite side of the room
  • Turn round and repeat, keep­ing the steps con­trolled and heels high the whole time

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