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Heel Raise & Lower Exercise

Heel raise and lower is a great exercise to start strengthening and stretching the muscles in the back of the lower leg (soleus and gastrocnemius). Both musles go across the back of the ankle joint, so impact on ankle movement and flexibility. The Gastrocnemius muscle also crossed the back of the knee so affects knee movement and flexibility also.

For this exercise, it is important that we focus on slowing the exercise down, especially the lowering phase where the muscle is lengthening under load/weight (eccentric contraction). It is during the eccentric phase that we are most likely to get injured.

So, to begin with, start using a timing of 3 seconds to go up, and 3 seconds again to lower. This not only helps you maintain your pace, but also the muscle has to work harder to maintain control when performing slower movements.

Start the exercise with legs straight (focusing on the gastrocnemius muscle), but as you get stronger, try it with a slight bend in the knee, which will work/stretch the soleus muscle more.

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