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Calf Exercises For Seniors And The Elderly

Calf Raises

Calf exercises strengthen the lower body and are important in maintaining balance and walking ability by improving your ability to push off and accelerate as we walk.

It is vital to keep these muscles working not only every day but several times a day. This is because, as I like to say, they are the “heart” of your legs.

Calf contractions help pump the great volume of blood up from your legs to your upper body and brain. No more fainting or getting light headed when standing still when you raise up on your toes a few times during the day. Try it and feel the difference!

Purpose of this exercise

Strengthening your calf muscles will give your more power to step forward on level surfaces or carry you up hills on uneven terrain. Helps pump blood up from your legs to your upper-body and brain.

Step 1

Stand using a chair to balance yourself.


Step 2

Raise up on your toes as high as you comfortably can. Return to the starting position and repeat 10 times.



Inhale during the upward movement phase. Exhale during the downward movement phase.


Keep your body still as you raise yourself up. Keep your feet  apart if you have balance problems.

Take it up a notch

Let go of the chair to improve your balance. If that is too hard, use a finger or one hand to hold on with.

How to do Calf Raises

How to do Calf Raises

More Lower Body Strengthening

1. Ankle Circles

  • This exercise improves your ankle flexibility and ability to move your ankle upward and downward.
  • This is a great warm up exercise for the lower leg and feet.

2. Hip Marching

  • This exercise will strengthen your hip flexor and thighs.
  • With correct seated posture it will also help your abdominal muscles.

3. Knee Extension

  • Strengthening your knees width knee strengthening exercises will improve your ability to stand and balance.
  • This exercise will improve your available knee range of motion.

4. Calf Raises

  • Strengthening your calf muscles with calf exercises will give your more power to step forward on level surfaces or carry you up hills on uneven terrain.
  • Helps pump blood up from your legs to your upper-body and brain.

5. Standing Knee Flexion

  • These knee exercises strengthens your hamstring muscles.
  • Also helps with your standing balance.

6. Side Hip Raise

  • Safely strengthens your side hip muscles to help with hip arthritis.
  • Helps maintain your lower body endurance to better walk and side step around objects.

7. Sit to Stand

  • Excellent hip exercises to maintain your leg and hip strength.
  • One of the most important exercises used daily to keep your independence and confidence.

8. Heel Stand

  • Strengthens the front part of the lower leg with ankle stretches.
  • You will become better able to raise your toes to avoid tripping.

9. Lunges

  • To strengthen your quadriceps and hips with leg toning exercises.
  • Improve your ability to get out of a chair and balance.
  • Help you with lifting chores around the house.

10. Straight Leg Raise

  • To increase your quadriceps and hip flexor strength with this leg workout.
  • To strengthen your abdominal muscles.
  • Allow you to advance your leg during walking with greater ease.

11. Partial Squats

  • Increase your hip flexibility, quadriceps strength and hip flexor strength.
  • Improve your ability to get up from a chair and walk.
  • Steady your body for better balance and safety.

12. Hip Extension

  • This exercise will help with strengthening the hip joint and muscles.
  • This will improve the ability to walk and propel yourself forward or up stairs.

Resources Family Caregivers https://www.cdc.gov/steadi/pdf/STEADI-CaregiverBrochure.pdf