The seated heel raise is an excellent exercise for building the calf muscles and keeping the Achilles tendon strong. Although a minor benefit, it also helps to keep the toes flexible and free of certain arthritic conditions. The exercise is a great one for some people who are incapable of standing and those who find it difficult to do so. The seated heel raise offers these folks an opportunity to develop the muscles of the foreleg and increase their chances of standing.
To perform the exercise, do the following:
• Sit in a chair or similar object and ensure that you are close to the edge of the seat. In addition, make sure your feet are a little more than a shoulder width apart and their heels are an inch or two ahead of the front legs of the chair.
• Once your feet are correctly positioned, lean the upper body forward so its weight is directed downwards and onto the legs.
• Next, place your forearms on your thighs and push downwards on the legs as you slowly raise the heels of your feet. Return the heels slowly back to the floor. The exercise may be repeated 6 to 10 times.
• Keep the upper body bent forward throughout the performance of the exercise.
• Those who are able to, may allow the chair to tilt slightly forward onto its front legs. This tilting will add to the intensity of the exercise and increase its benefits.
• The seated heel raise may be performed several times throughout the day
For Fusion One classes or for general fitness and health information and/or services, visit the Cultural Center of Charlotte County’s Fitness Center or call 941-625-4175, ext. 263.