After such an injury, it is important to begin strengthening the affected calf muscle as soon as possible to: In general, any lower leg problem will probably benefit from calf rehab or strengthening. Some conditions that may be particularly helped by these exercises include: Below are a few examples of calf-strengthening exercises. Calf strain exercises are intended to maintain the strength and flexibility of the calf muscles before the occurrence of injury. Hold the position for up to 30 seconds. Ⓒ 2021 About, Inc. (Dotdash) — All rights reserved. These exercises can make your knee problem worse. The Exercises You Need to be Doing to Prevent Injury”, Runners Connect; https://runnersconnect.net/how-to-strengthen-your-calves-and-achilles-to-prevent-injury/, last accessed August 17, 2017. Calf-strengthening exercises can be an important component of your rehab after a lower-leg injury. ... of the exercises, review our full knee pain treatment guide. After leg extensions, step-ups, and single-leg squats, you'd think you'd be done. That makes them very susceptible to muscular strain injuries.. The following exercises are calf strain strengthening exercises intended to regain strength and mobility of the injured calf muscles, and to prevent further injury. For support, hold on to a chair, table, or wall. Calf Muscle Injury. Avoid any exercise that requires jumping. “Calf Strain Strengthening Exercises,” Sports Injury Clinic; http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/ankle-achilles-shin-pain/calf-strain/calf-strain-strengthening-exercises, last accessed August 17, 2017. Repeat three times. OrthoInfo. Here are some simple calf injury exercises to increase your range of motion (ROM). “Calf-Strengthening Exercises,” Web MD; http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/strengthening-calf-muscles#1, last accessed August 17, 2017. Slowly lower the leg and repeat two sets of 15. As you lift the affected leg at least eight inches, tighten your thigh muscles. Most of them are the same, and there is only a drastic difference between them. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Exercises should only begin after the acute stage of healing has passed and always be performed pain-free. Use a spring-like motion on the jump. For this exercise, use a resistive band that you can buy from a department store or online. Find a resistance band that challenges you. Refer to a professional if you have had calf injuries in the past, to know which exercises are best for you. Repeat 15 times for two sets. Begin standing on a step with both feet. Simple to perform, calf muscle exercises are easy to add to any exercise program. Walk With Ease Exercises. Plyometric exercises have a high injury risk and they put a lot of strain on the knees. Hold position for 15 to 20 seconds. Lie on your back on the floor with one leg bent at the knee and the other straight in the air. Place weight into the heel to return to starting position. Hold the stretch for at least 15 to 30 seconds. Extend the leg back and up into the air as you contract the glutes. Push down through your toes, lifting both heels off the ground. Medically reviewed by Eva Umoh Asomugha, M.D. Hold the position for 10 seconds, then lower. Each of these detailed exercises works the calf muscles in a unique way, and should be performed consistently. Face the wall with both arms above your head and jump to touch the tape. They involve moving your foot yourself to stretch the muscles. This exercise is more advanced than the seated toe raise, as it places the entire weight of the body on the legs.. Sitting leg raises; While sitting on the ground, place a towel underneath your knee so that your leg is raised slightly off of the ground. Double-Leg Calf Raise. They work during foot flexion; for example, pointing the toes by moving the ankle into a downward position. Stretching can also help keep the muscles flexible, which can prevent or alleviate pain. In a seated position in a chair, bend the knees and lift the feet off the floor as high as possible. Hold the position for five seconds before slowly returning feet flat to the floor without the use of support. Elastic tubing or a resistance band is introduced after the first few of days stretching exercises. The following calf strengthening exercises are designed to improve strength of the calf muscles (figure 1). Calf strain exercises 2-3 weeks after the injury. This takes most of the weight off the calf muscle during strengthening, but not so much that the muscle is not worked. Performing calf muscle strain exercises beforehand could reduce your chances of injury. The lunge is another great leg-development exercise that can be done after a knee injury, and it is my personal favorite. Sources: DOMS typically lasts between 3 and 5 days. Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***. Stand next to a wall for support, if needed, and hold feet hip-width apart and hips, knees, and ankles in vertical alignment. The calf muscles activate during any ambulatory movement: walking, running, jumping. Stand with hands on a table or counter for support as you rise up on your toes. Calf Strengthening Exercises Written by Tele Demetrious, Physiotherapist, BPhysio(Hons) Reviewed by Brett Harrop, APA Sports Physiotherapist, BPhysio(Hons), MPhysio(Sports Physio) Updated: 5 th May 2016 Exercises > Strengthening (Muscles) > Calf Strengthening Exercises. Wrap the band around the end of your foot and press down into the band, extending your toes and engaging the calf. A strain of the calf muscles may be inhibiting your movement during running, jumping, and walking as these muscles work to pull the heel up in motion. Keeping your back leg straight and your back heel on the floor, bend your front knee and gently bring your hip and chest toward the wall until you feel a stretch in the calf of your back leg. Have a goal of eight to 12 repetitions for one to three sets. Calf strain strengthening exercises may restore power and range of motion and help your body recover from existing damage. Be aware of each movement of the exercise to maintain alignment of body. Avoid them completely or do them in low reps. 1. Pull the leg backward against the resistance provided by the band. These 3 exercises are the best to work out for strengthening your legs, including calf, hamstring, quadracep and gluteals muscles. Calf pain often comes from a calf strain, which basically means you have torn calf muscle fibers in the lower leg. Toe raises describe a group of specific exercises used to strengthen the calf muscles. Step back and down with one leg to have the foot completely touch the floor while the other foot remains on the step. There are effective calf strain exercises to treat the pain, swelling, and mobility issues often seen with trauma or injury to the calf muscles. Thank you, {{form.email}}, for signing up. Sign Up for the Latest Health News and Tips, Home » Pain » Calf Strain Exercises: How to Strengthen Calf Muscles Safely. ... Continue the calf muscle strengthening exercise until the muscles in the back of your leg … Repeat with the other leg. Using no support, stand on the affected leg only. Stand on one leg, and then lift the other leg out to th… A rounded back puts you at risk for an injury. Hold your... Heel Slide. While lying on your back, tighten your buttock muscles as if you were holding back flatulence. They can also be done to help prevent problems with your mobility. Read our, Medically reviewed by Laura Campedelli, PT, DPT, Medically reviewed by Jonathan Cluett, MD. Your physical therapist can show you specific exercises that work best for you and recommend a training schedule that is both effective and safe. When exercising your calf muscles after an injury, it’s important to make sure that you are always pain-free. To perform heel-to-buttock exercises: Stand upright with the legs straight and the feet shoulder-width apart. Medically reviewed by Erin Pereira, DPT, OCS, Medically reviewed by Anita C. Chandrasekaran, MD, MPH, Injuries That May Be Helped by Calf Muscle Exercises, Stretches to Ease and Prevent Shin Splints, Otago Exercises in Physical Therapy Can Help Improve Balance. Hsu D, Chang KV. Ankle pumps strengthen muscles present in calves and ankle joints. Repeat with the other leg. Keep shoulder blades onto the floor. Repeat three times while trying to balance with the eyes closed. Lower the knee without touching the floor and repeat 15 times. Sit or lie on the floor with legs extended. 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