How To Do Heel Raises Effectively

Heel raises

Heel Raises, also known as heel lifts or calf raises, is a simple exercise that works well for anyone at any fitness level. You can do it almost anywhere and integrate it into your workouts or do it on its own.

What Muscles Does Heel Raises Work?

  • Primary muscles worked: Calf (the medial gastrocnemius, the lateral gastrocnemius and the soleus)
  • Secondary muscles worked: ankles, quads and glutes
  • Equipment: No equipment, or the back of a chair for support.
  • Calories Burned: 30 cal / 10 min

How To Perform the Heel Raises Effectively

  1. Stand with your feet flat on the floor, about 10 centimeters apart.
  2. Steady yourself by placing one or both hands on a support.
  3. Raise your heels slowly until you are standing on your toes.
  4. Maintain this position for about 6 seconds.
  5. Lower your heels slowly back to the floor with a controlled movement.
  6. Repeat 8 to 15 times.

Sets And Reps

  • Beginner: 1-2 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions
  • Advanced: 3 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions

Start by doing 1 or 2 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions. Over time, increase the number of sets and reps as you become stronger, until you can do 3 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions. If you do more than one sets, allow a short, about 2-minute recovery break in between them.

Benefits of Heel Raises

This exercise strengthens the muscles in the calves and helps improve ankle strength and stability. Studies also show that it can help place a healthy load on your Achilles tendon, which could reverse an unhealthy load on the tendon that results from a tendon condition. Be careful not to place too much load on your Achilles tendon too suddenly, especially if you’re in pain.

Heel Raises Variations

Once you master the basic sets, you can try more variations of the exercise:

  1. Double heel raise with weights
  2. Single-leg heel raise exercise
  3. Weighted single-leg heel raise

Heel Raises FAQs

Do heel raises increase speed?

Researchers found that stroke patients who performed a heel-raise exercise using a block to achieve dorsiflexion of the forefoot experienced significant increases in plantar flexor power, walking speed, and cadence compared with those who performed the same exercise on a flat surface.

Do heel raises strengthen ankles?

Standing heel raises target the calf muscles and other lower-leg structures, including the ankle stabilization muscles. These exercises improve balance and body control during landing, thereby reducing injury risk. Increased reps can boost muscle endurance.

Related Leg Exercises

Here are some other lower body exercises that will help you strengthen, sculpt and tone your thighs, hips, legs and glutes:

  • Leg raises
  • Flutter kicks
  • Single leg lunge
  • Lunges

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