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Senior Fitness Tips: Heel Raises

By Fred Smith, YWCA Fitness on 25th Personal Trainer

Today, I am going to review three different types of heel raises. You can choose the one most suitable for your level of fitness. The heel raise works on the calf muscle below the knee. The heel raise will also strengthen alignment between the foot and ankle. Poor alignment can lead to foot, ankle, knee or back pain or even worse injuries.

Below, I outline three levels of heel raises for you to consider. These would range from an introductory movement to a more intermediate level. I would be happy to discuss more advanced heel raise activities if you would like. Contact myself or any of our YWCA Fitness on 25th Personal Trainers for further advice.

Heel Raise #1: Sitting

  • Sit down on a chair
  • Have your feet 6 to 8 inches apart, flat on the floor and parallel to each other
  • Elevate you heels to rise on the balls of your feet
  • Reverse the motion to the starting position and repeat 10 to 15 times

Try to complete at least 2 sets with 10 to 15 repetitions

Heel Raise #2: Standing with a chair

  • Standing with the back of a chair in front of you
  • Fee 6 to 8 inches apart, flat on the floor and parallel to each other
  • Bend your knees slightly so that they are not locked out.
  • Elevate your heels to rise on to the balls of your feet.
  • While in motion, use the back of the chair for balance
  • Reverse the motion to the starting position and repeat 10 to 15 times
  • Try to complete at least 2 sets with 10 to 15 repetitions.

Heel Raise #3: Standing

  • Standing with your feet 6 to 8 inches apart, flat on the floor and parallel to each other.
  • Bend your knees slightly so they are not locked out
  • Elevate your heels to rise on the balls of your feet
  • Reverse the motion to the starting position and repeat 10 to 15 times
  • Complete at least 2 sets with 10 to 15 repetitions
  • Option: hold hand weights to increase difficulty

The range of motion involved in a heel raise is relatively short therefore be sure to perform these exercises to the maximum comfortable range. Also, remember to perform your repetitions with an even tempo. No bouncing or jerking up or down.