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  • Writer's pictureDave the physio

Assisted calf raise for rehab

Updated: May 5, 2021

Have you sprained your ankle? Fractured a bone? Recovering from Achilles tendinopathy?

Try the assisted calf raise!

When recovering from any injury involving the ankle, at some point you will be required to strengthen up the surrounding muscles of the ankle particularly the calves (plantarflexors). The calf is an integral muscle used in everyday motion as well as performance and exercise. Without adequate strength and power provided from the calf during gait, compensatory strategies at the hip flexor will occur that will prevent people from walking faster.

During rehabilitation, strength training and progression is not always straight forward and linear! Training the plantarflexors using openchained theraband exercises or leg press machines (whilst good alternatives) are not training the muscle in its functional role. Full weightbearing plantarflexion is the goal before progressing to single leg variations and eventually plyometrics.

When the injured ankle is still progressing through strength rehabilitation, unless done perfectly, the body will often overcompensate and load the unaffected leg. By providing assistance as shown in the video, it allows less direct pressure to go through the ankle joint as well as creating a smoother and uniform movement pattern. This can also be done as a single leg progression.

A progression from double leg calf raise to a single leg calf raise is not always a straightforward doubling in force. e.g. 10 reps double leg =/= 5 legs single leg.

Having variations and the ability to modify assistance through your rehab will give you more flexibility in your management and will allow you to tailor your rehab program to suit your current status.

For more information book online @

Strength and Pilates Physiotherapy Surry Hills

Level 2, 103 Foveaux Street Surry Hills

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