The 4 Best Calf Strengthening Exercises To Prevent Injury

Posted on: Jan 16th, 2023 by adminva | Categories: Sports Medicine & Nutrition

Your calves take you where you need to go, but do you pay them as much attention as you should? Calves are often under-trained and underappreciated for all that they do, and are usually left off strength programs. This shouldn’t be the case! We use our calves for many movements we do every day, so having strong calf muscles is important for both your fitness and day-to-day life.  

This article examines why calf strength is so important and details 4 exercises you may wish to try to improve your calf strength. For personalised advice, contact our team at The Physio Movement today.


Why Is Calf Strength So Important?   

Strong calf muscles help with ankle and foot movements, such as walking, running, and jumping. If your calf muscles are weak, you’re more susceptible to strains and injuries, whether you’re an athlete training for a competition or simply going about your day. 

Poor calf strength may lead to preventable injuries such as:

Increasing your calf strength may give you the ability to run faster, for a longer period of time, and at a more consistent pace. Additionally, you may reduce the severity of an injury if you were to acquire one.


The 4 Best Exercises To Build Calf Strength 

When beginning a new exercise, remember to ease into it slowly— especially if you’re recovering from an injury. If you train too hard too early on, you run the risk of acquiring or aggravating an injury. Ensure you choose an exercise that is suited to your level of fitness.

  • Straight Knee Calf Raises

  1. Stand near a wall or bench that you can hold onto. Face outwards, placing your hand against the wall or bench.
  2. Lift your heel, going up on your toes as high as you can. 
  3. Keep your knees straight and your weight evenly distributed over your toes.
  4. Slowly lower yourself back to the ground.

This exercise is designed to be done in 3 x 10 repetitions. Over time the exercise will likely become easier, in which case you may choose to increase the intensity by increasing repetitions and sets, adding dumbbells, or increasing your speed.

  • Bent Knee Calf Raises

  1. Stand near a wall or bench with both feet on the ground, using one arm to steady yourself.
  2. Bend your knees slightly.
  3. Lift one heel and go as high on your toes as you can.
  4. Keep your weight evenly distributed over your toes and ensure your knees stay at the same, slightly bent angle.
  5. Slowly lower yourself back to the ground.

This exercise is very similar to straight knee calf raises. It also typically gets easier over time, and you can follow the same instructions above to increase the intensity. 

  • Seated Calf Raises

  1. Sit on a seat or bench and place your toes on a step or stool with your heel hanging off slightly.
  2. Place a weight on your knees (comfortably) that will prevent your thighs from moving upwards.
  3. Slowly lower your heels and raise them back up as high as you can.


This exercise can be done at a gym or at home. As above, you may wish to increase the intensity by doing more repetitions, making them faster, or increasing the weight you use.

  • Jumping Calf Press
  1. Stand with your arms by your sides with your core engaged and your back straight.
  2. Push off the ground with the balls of your feet, jumping into the air.
  3. After landing, focus on the tension and contraction you feel in your calf muscles.
  4. Repeat 10 times, ensuring not to rely on your quadriceps to power your jump.


Walk, Run, Or Jump To The Physio Movement To Kickstart Your Calf Strength 

Want calves of steel? We’re pumped to help get you there! At The Physio Movement, our skilled team is committed to helping you achieve your goals through our holistic and multidisciplinary approach. To get started, book an appointment today!



Physiotherapy Townsville - The Physio Movement


     517 Flinders Street
Townsville City Qld 4810
     1300 TPM FIT or 4740 4516
Book Now
Book Now