The heel raises workout goal is to increase the strength in your calf and knee.
It is an excellent workout option for athletes or other people in competitive sports, relying on speed.
Besides, calf raises to reduce the chances of muscle strain if you have overworked calf muscles. Stretching these muscles is essential as it keeps them healthy, and performing basic functions like walking becomes easy.
Here is how you do it.
- Hold on to a wall or stair railing as you ascend a flight of stairs. A firm chair is also a good option.
- Step on the step with the balls of your feet and let your heels sink in slowly.
- Raise your heels as high as possible.
- Slowly lower yourself back to the starting position with your feet flat on the floor.
- Do at least five reps for starters and increase it to 20 gradually.
WHAT MUSCLES DO HEEL RAISES WORK?
There are two primary calf muscles in your leg’s back midway – between your knee and ankle. They are the primary muscles worked. Here is more on muscles worked by heel raises.
The soleus and the gastrocnemius are the two most crucial calf muscles. Heel raises work both the calf and thigh muscles.
The gastrocnemius works more in people with toned calves as it is larger than the soleus. It sits beneath the skin.
Extensive heel lifts and other calf workouts will allow you to see the gastrocnemius’ two side-by-side masses.
An additional muscle that benefits from calf raises is the soleus, located just below the gastrocnemius.
Your gastrocnemius muscles will show the consequences of your workout, but you’re also working your soleus muscles when you do this type of exercise.
The soleus muscles are smaller than the gastrocnemius; however, they are broader. These muscles assume the role of a skeletal muscle working together with the plantarflexor.
The soleus keeps the body from tumbling forward at the ankle while you are on your feet. It also aids mobility.
HEEL RAISES BENEFITS
The importance of calf raises is often overlooked, but it has immense benefits to the body.
STRENGTHENS CALF MUSCLES
Calf strength directly affects sports performance. Stronger calf muscles mean that muscles are properly stretched.
Therefore, the swift movement gets a boost. Running and fast walking greatly benefit.
You can avoid soreness from a run by keeping the calf muscles supple and loose afterwards. Heel raises protect your Achilles from soreness.
Heel lifts before your next major workout stretches muscles, thereby reducing the chances of muscle cramping.
Both the soleus and the gastrocnemius muscles attach to the Achilles tendon, which inserts on the heel’s back.
They prevent your feet from pronation and or supination. Pronation is how your foot turns inward when you land, while is the outward rolling of the foot.
Further, this workout helps keep all mobility biomechanics – walking, running, and jumping – in perfect order. It shields you from foot disorders.
The muscles at the rear of your lower thigh may feel tense at first and then fatigued. After a while, you notice that your walking becomes more effortless.
BUILDING SPORTS POWER
Calf muscles are also crucial for vertical jumping in several sports, such as netball, volleyball, and basketball.
Heel raises activate the medial gastrocnemius, the lateral gastrocnemius, and the soleus in an ankle extension.
The sprint and jump power comes from the gastrocnemius muscles, whereas the soleus muscle provides endurance.
EASY TO PERFORM
Performing this exercise is easy because it does not require any special equipment. A staircase or a sturdy chair is enough to perform the workout.
ALTERNATIVES TO HEEL RAISES
There are several simple variations for heel raises. And they are easy to perform. Here they are:
SEATED HEEL RAISES
Sitting calf raises focus on the soleus muscle, which plays a key role in plantar flexion. Follow these steps in performing it.
- Make sure your feet are on the floor in front of you, hip-width apart.
- In a slow, steady way, raise your heels off the ground. Keep your insteps right over your second and third toes as you do so.
- You should put your weight on the balls of your feet and contract your calves at the top of the move.
- Slowly lower your heels for two seconds, then let go of them one by one.
ECCENTRIC HEEL DROP
Achilles injury rehabilitation and prevention can benefit from the Eccentric Heel Drop’s ability to extend calf muscles.
Here is how you do it.
- Stand on the step with your heels hanging off the step.
- Stand on both feet to make the ascent easier.
- Slowly lower yourself down on a single foot to evenly distribute the weight.
- Lower your feet below the step for a moment
- Put the other foot back on the step, and then lift it again.
SINGLE-LEGGED CALF RAISES
The single-legged calf raises are a great exercise choice in keeping the Achilles tendon healthy. These are the steps to follow when performing this exercise.
- Stand with your feet together and arms on the sides for stability, then shift your weight to one foot.
- Elevate your heel off the ground by pressing the ball of your foot between the big toes and the second toe.
- Focus on not allowing your foot to spin out, and hold the contraction at the top.
- Slowly lower your heel back to the surface, and continue for the desired amount of repetitions.
HEEL RAISES MISTAKES TO AVOID
While heel raises are simple to pull off, there are several things that you could do wrong. They are:
Arching your back: It exposes you to injury very fast.
Locking your knees reduces the expected range of motion and ends up straining the calves.
Exercising while feeling pain: It is advisable to keep off from heel raises if you are experiencing any pain in your legs.
You should include Heel raises in your workout routine; a great workout. It is easy convenient because you can do it in your house.