Sure, you can use a chair or a wall, but eventually you'll get so good at calf raises that you'll be balancing on your own. This is a great exercise to do while brushing your teeth, or even washing the dishes. Since so much time is spent strengthening larger muscle groups, this is a great exercise to add to your weekly regimen.
- Rest hands on a chair in front of you for balance (you can also use the wall).
- Begin by standing with your feet directly under the hip joint, four to five inches apart. Lift your heels up in a controlled motion until balancing on your tiptoes, taking two counts to get to the top of the motion — no popping up. Lower down in two counts.
- Repeat this up and down action 12-15 times. Do three sets.
If performing the exercise on a stair:
- Stand with balls of feet on a step, heels hanging off. Keep knees soft, not locked.
- Slowly let the heels fall below the step, and then slowly move your weight to toes and lift your heel back up.
- Repeat this up-and-down action 12-15 times. Do three sets.
To make it more challenging, you can lift one leg behind you and do one leg at a time.
Photo: Jaime Young