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The Best Calf Exercises For Strength & Balance

January 16, 2011

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Home Calf Workout:

  1. Ankle Circles- Ankle circles can be done sitting or standing. Lift one foot 6 inches off the ground and rotate ankle clockwise, keeping the rest of the leg stationary. Circle 10 times. Then switch and circle counter clockwise for 10 times.

  2. Knee Circles- Stand with your legs and feet together. Slightly bend the knees. If you feel unbalanced you can place your hands on your knees to stabilize yourself, otherwise place your hands on your hips. Now slowly move your knees in a circular motion, keeping the knees together the whole time. Repeat 10 times then switch direction and repeat 10 times.

  3. Floor Board Straight Leg Calf Stretch- Face a wall. Place one foot up against wall while your heel stays on the ground. Keep fore leg straight, place hands on the wall, and lean into the wall. Hold for 15 seconds. Then switch to the opposite leg. Repeat on each leg 3 times. 

  4. Calf Stretch Elbows against the Wall- Stand 2-3 feet away, facing a wall. Lean up against the wall, placing your forearms up against the wall. Keep your heels on the ground. Hold position for 10-20 seconds. Repeat for 3 sets.

  5. Calf Stretch Hands against the Wall- Stand 2-3 feet away, facing a wall. Place one foot forward, staggering your stance. Bend your front knee while leaning forward and placing your hands up against the wall. Keep your heels on the ground. Hold for 10-20 seconds. Then switch legs. Do 3 sets on each leg.

  6. Lunging-Stand straight with your legs shoulder width apart. Move one foot, one step out in front of you. Move the back foot so it is almost exactly in line with the front foot. Make sure the back foot is facing straight forward. With your hands on your hips, bend the front knee while keep the back leg completely straight. Keep your heels on the ground. Hold this position for 10-20 seconds. Then switch. Repeat on each leg for 3 sets.

  7. Pike- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend at the hips placing your hands on the ground in front of you about 2-3 feet (should create an upside down V). Keep legs straight with heels on the floor. Hold for 20 seconds. Then relax.

  8. Step Calf Raises- Find a step (box or elevated surface), and stand on it with the front part of your feet, so your heels are hanging off the edge. Lower heel slowly towards the ground. Rise up on to your toes, and then back to starting position. Make sure movement is slow and fluid. Try not to use momentum when going from down to up. Do 3 sets with 10 repetitions each.

  9. Balance Board-Stand on a balance board and try to balance yourself. If you have poor balance make sure there is a wall, chair or another person within reach so you don’t fall down. Try to hold your balance as long as you can. Start with 30 seconds and build up from there.

  10. Stand on your Toes- Stand with feet together. If you have poor balance stand within hands reach of a wall, table or chair. Go up on your toes; hold for one second then return to starting position. Repeat for 10 repetitions. Do 3 sets.

Gym Calf Exercises:


   1. Calf Raise on a Dumbbell

   2. Barbell Seated Calf Raise

   3. Calf Press on the Leg Press Machine

   4. Seated Calf Raise

   5. Standing Barbell Calf Raise

   6. Standing Calf Raise

   7. Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise