Stronger calves can not only enhance your performance in sports and physical activities (like running, jumping etc.) calf strength can also help prevent injuries to the lower legs.
Strong calves can help improve your balance and stability, which is essential for maintaining good posture and preventing knee and back injuries or falls. The Flexor Hallucis Longus is especially important in the “toing off” phase of the gate cycle.
Here is an effective home exercise to safely train your calf strength and Flexor Hallucis Longus:
- Stand 1 m from a wall, facing a wall with your toes pointing forward.
- Then lean forward and place your hands on the wall for support, so that your body is leaning forward on an angle.
- Slowly rise onto the balls of your feet, lifting your heels off the ground and continue up onto your tiptoes as far as you can.
- Hold the position for 1-3 seconds, making sure to keep your body straight and your core engaged.
- Slowly lower your heels back down to the ground.
- Repeat the movement for several repetitions, aiming for 2 sets of 25 repetitions.
Here are some additional tips to help you get the most out of this exercise:
Focus on lifting through the big toe to activate the Flexor Hallucis Longus muscle.
Keep your knees straight throughout the movement.
Don’t rush through the exercise – slow and controlled movements are key.
If you find the exercise too easy, you can increase the difficulty by standing further away from the wall so that your body is leaning at more of an angel, and you are pushing harder into the wall as you are lifting, or you can perform the exercise on one leg at a time.