This exercise is intended to work on strengthening the calf muscles on the posterior (back) aspect of the lower legs. It will focus specifically on developing Calf (Gastrocnemius, Soleus and Plantaris) muscle strength.
Why do this Exercise?
To increase strength within the calf muscles. This will assist with increasing joint stability within the knee joint.
Table, Wall or Chair.
Standing on a firm surface (floor) while using the table/wall/chair for balance and support. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, toes pointed forward, straight back and knees slightly bent (5° or less). You do not want to perform this exercise with your knees locked in the extended position. Your hands should be up against the wall in front of you or lightly holding onto the chair/table for support.
While maintaining the starting posture you extend your ankles by pushing up onto the balls of your feet. This will cause your heels to lift up off the ground. You want to perform these motions in a slow and controlled manner. Push up as high as is comfortable and hold that position for 5 seconds. Then slowly lower your heels back down to the floor and relax. Rest for 2-3 seconds and then repeat the exercise 10 times. You can increase from 1 set of 10 reps up to 3 sets of 10 reps as strength and control increase. This exercise should be repeated 1-2 times per day.
This exercise should only be performed within a pain free range of motion. You should feel tension within your muscles but not sharp pain within your knee joint. Do not continue this exercise if there is pain, swelling or a significant increase in skin temperature (skin becomes hot/warm to the touch). The recommended repetitions are here to serve as guideline. Keep in mind that each person is different and you must modify your activity according to the feedback your body provides. Do not perform this exercise on a soft surface (i.e. bed) because it will not achieve the desired results. Do not use quick jerky movements with this exercise; it is intended to be performed in a slow and controlled motion. If you find that the edge of the table is limiting the amount of flexion you can achieve you may move your knee further off the edge of the table.