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Arthritis Today

Standing Heel and Toe Raises

PRECAUTION: Be careful to maintain your balance. Hold onto a stable object (a chair, railing, wall, tree, or counter) while doing this exercise.

PRECAUTION: If you have had recent joint surgery, then check with your doctor before doing this exercise.

PRECAUTION: Stop this exercise if it causes a muscle cramp.

  • Hold onto a counter, table, railing, tree or wall for support.
  • Lift your toes off the floor while keeping your heels on the floor and your knees straight.
  • Hold for a count of 5.
  • Lower slowly.
  • Lift your heels off the floor while keeping your toes on the floor and your knees straight.  You should raise your heels high enough that you feel a strong tightening of the muscles in the back of your leg (the calf muscles) without pain or cramping.
  • Hold for a count of 5.
  • Lower slowly.
  • Repeat 5 times to start, increasing to no more than 30 times.

It is easier to do both legs at the same time. If your feet are too sore, then wear shoes or do this exercise while sitting down.

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