T Nation

Alternatives to Calf Raises


Hi all,

Just thought I'd bounce this Q off you: I've been a runner for a number of years, and I have been unable to do calf raises (standing or seated) because they aggravate past plantar fascia injuries. I don't have this issue with squatting or any other exercise. I was wondering whether there were alternatives to calf raises you all would recommend.



On a GHR, if I put the foot plate fairly close so the knees rest at about 2:30 on the pad, and then move it up as high as possible, I get ridiculous calf activation. Maybe that will work for you, too.


I have the same problem. I've found that DC style calf work doesn't aggravate it as much. The other thing that seems to have helped is going barefoot or training in vibrams.


Exercises that involve being up on your toes, i.e. Siff lunges (like a normal lunge but on your tip-toes), sled dragging up on toes, etc. Maybe also weighted jumps, olympic lifts. Can't guarantee they'll work but worth trying.

Other idea would be to try to alleviate the p-f issues with fascia release/ rolling on hard ball and/or strengthening the tibialis anterior with static holds and maybe some inventive cable work to add resistance to dorsi flexion?


I've had some great experience doing this as well. Second.