HomeHealthArchivesSep 2004


Raising Calves at Home

Well-developed calf muscles add explosive power to your athletic performance, and balance and symmetry to your body's shape. Here's an exercise, courtesy of Shape magazine, to both strengthen the calves and help them look their best:

1. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand at your side. (For beginners, just the weight of your body may be enough.)

2. Place a four-inch high platform against a wall. Position your right foot so that the ball is just on the edge of the step, with your heel hanging over. For balance, bend your left leg at the knee so it doesn't touch the floor.

3. Place your right hand on the wall for balance, then slowly lower your right heel without letting it touch the floor; hold for three seconds.

4. Lift up on your toes, keeping knee, ankle and toe in a straight line. Make sure you start your upward push from your big toe, to keep your ankle from rolling. Again, hold for three seconds.

5. Slowly lower your heel again, without letting it touch the floor.

Do all repetitions on one leg before moving on to the other, and avoid bouncing. Breathe out on the push and breathe in on the letdown. Always work your weaker leg first.

Remember to first consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise routine.