Double Leg Heel Rises
Edited by Marcus Coe, MD, MS
Indications: who should do double leg heel rises?
Double leg heel rises are performed to strengthen the calf muscles. These muscles are often weak following immobilization after surgery or injury. Injuries, such as Achilles tendon ruptures and ankle fractures, often require a concerted effort at calf strengthening and calf stretching during the recovery period. In addition, this exercise can strengthen the tibialis posterior (posterior tibial tendon) muscle, which is often weak and dysfunctional in patients with acquired adult flatfoot deformity.
How it’s done
Use your calf muscles to slowly raise both your heels off of the floor, then slowly bring your heels back to the ground and repeat again. If one leg is weaker or recovering from injury, then take the majority (70-80%) of the body weight on the uninjured side.
Perform the double leg heel rise exercises every second day (3-4 times per week). Start with a low number of repetitions (5-10) and sets (3-5), and gradually work up until you are doing many repetitions (20-30) and many sets (10-12). It can take many months to work up to doing a large number of repetitions. The calf muscle can be slow to regain strength, often requiring many months to regain most lost strength.
Some patients may benefit from performing calf raises with their heels hanging off the edge of a rung of stairs. This works the calf muscle over a longer distance. This may be beneficial in certain conditions such as Achilles tendonitis.
Edited May 20, 2019