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We all know that muscles shorten, but did you know that they need to control as they lengthen also? This is particularly important for the calf muscles. They shorten to raise you onto your toes and lengthen to lower the heels to the floor. Gaining strength through this movement phase has protective strengthening effects over the calf and achilles tendon.

Instructions: flat surface

  • Stand facing a wall or stable surface and place your fingers on for support if needed
  • Ensure your feet are hip distance apart and toes facing forward
  • Push up onto the balls of your feet by lifting the heels from the ground
  • Transfer your weight to one leg with the heel still lifted 
  • Lift the other leg off the ground
  • Balance on the ball of the foot of one leg
  • Slowly lower yourself to the ground on that leg
  • Place both feet back on the ground
  • Restart pushing up onto both feet  
  • Complete pace and number of repetitions as instructed by your Physiotherapist

Step instructions:

  • Position yourself on either a step or the ground as discussed with your Physiotherapist
  • With straight knees, lift the heels up to an elevated position
  • Take the unaffected foot off the step and slowly lower the heel of the standing leg back to the starting position
  • Repeat lifting the heels always with both feet and lowering on the affected side


  • The knees must remain straight
  • Ensure the ankles do not roll out at the top of the heel raise
  • Maintain control as you lower with a single leg
  • Use a wall in front of you for balance as necessary