Strengthening the Calf Muscles

We ran 4.25 miles today. Just had to get that in eventhough this post isn’t about that!

My injury was due to my calf muscles, or more accurately, my right calf muscle being too weak. Actually  it still is too weak. My osteopath recommended a very very simple exercise for which you need no equipment and very little time: Heel raises. So while my calf muscle was still recovering he recommended doing heel raises using both legs at the same time – so basically standing with your feet evenly placed and raising yourself up until standing on your tiptoes and then lowering yourself back down in a controlled way (you can hold onto something for balance). Now though I am supposed to do this standing on one leg – apparently people should be able to do about 20 one leg controlled heel raises generally and runners should aim to be able to do 30. I am currently aiming for 5 without falling over.

The heel raise exercise does get slightly obsessive. I did 20 while in the supermarket queue and I keep doing it when standing in corridors, offices, at the roadside etc talking to people – usually both legs at the same time though. It’s so easy and yet so effective. There are loads of clips on YouTube showing how to do them but the osteopath recommended just doing them on a flat surface/floor and not on the edge of a step as many seem to suggest. He did recommend standing on the edge of a step and pushing your heel down for stretching the calf muscle but I think those two exercises should be seperate so as not to risk injury – I might be wrong there of course but doing them seperately works for me.

Next on the list is to make time for yoga using a yoga app I recently downloaded. It has several 15 minute programmes at different levels. I’ll let you know once I finally get round to building those into a routine properly!

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