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Standing Calf Raises Exercise with Two Stretches

Improve and or maintain healthy blood circulation in your legs and feet by doing standing calf raises while at the same time stretching and strengthening your calf muscles and muscles in your feet.

Your calves act like a second heart and through regular exercise, walking, stretching and of course eating healthy, you will avoid future vascular problems resulting in leg and foot pain and/or burning sensations. It is amazing how our bodies have evolved and how efficient our bodies are, therefore it is important to maintain this natural balance.

Calves are one muscle group that are used or can be used absolutely all the time. Anything that you do using your legs, you will use your calves in one way or another. It’s a muscle group that can be exercised every day by doing strength training exercises, but you don’t need to since you use them all the time while walking, climbing stairs, bending, etc... Consequently, as long as calves remain strong, not tight and you do the proper strength training exercises and stretching and use them constantly, then your calves should never get injured. It is really surprising how many MLB (Major League Baseball) players suffer calf injuries these days! With proper stretching and simple strength training, this should not be happening!

Standing calf raises can be done almost anywhere - at home, the gym or even at the office. You can do them with or without fitness equipment or dumbbells. You can do them every day, every other day or once a week during your regular workout schedule. They are a great strength training exercise for your calves and the muscles in your feet.

In this simple video, I will do Standing Calf Raises at home. I will be using my natural body weight and gravity as resistance for this strength training calf exercise. Doing it this way also requires good balance and stability. Of course you can also hold onto something while performing this exercise.

  • Stand up straight, hands at the side and both feet on the ground.
  • Knees and feet must be aligned - knees over your feet. You don’t want your feet pointing sideways.
  • Slowly raise yourself onto the balls of your feet and breathe out as you do so. At the top of the movement hold for a second or two.
  • Lower yourself until your feet are flat on the ground and breathe in as you do so.
  • Do 4 to 5 sets of 12-16 repetitions each once per week. You can even do it 1 time per day for 12-16 repetitions.
You can also hold a couple of dumbbells in your hands to make this exercise more difficult and add a little resistance.

It is also good to stretch your calves, shins and the muscles in your feet in between sets. It aids in blood circulation and prevents muscle tightness or soreness the next day or two.

The first stretch is to extend your downwards and pointing downwards (in my video towards the end). 
  • Stand on your left leg and raise your right leg off the ground a little, feet in natural position.
  • Extend your right foot downwards and pointing downwards.
  • Return to starting position with foot slightly upwards.
  • Do 1 set with as many reps as you like.
  • While standing on left leg, you are are simultaneously strength training your left leg using your own body weight.
  • Repeat this stretch for the right leg.
The second stretch is to curl your toes using the same standing position as above. It wlll stretch the muscles in your feet.

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