Strength training

What are people’s thoughts on calf/heel drop/raises?

Do you support the ‘up’ and then just do a single legged controlled ‘down’, or do you do a controlled ‘up and down’?

I assume (without thinking too deeply) that one method singles out one muscle group, and the other does the antagonistic pairing?

Your thoughts please…

I do supported up and then single legged controlled down. Have read in lots of places this is preferable but never read the actual studies :slight_smile:

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I’ve been doing the up and down, as it seems to work my legs harder i.e. i’m working hard by rep 8 or 9 of 10, but then i recover pretty quickly. Just doing drops doesn’t seem to give the same feeling - “feel the burn” type stuff. But don’t know if i’m just missing the point of the exercise, hence my question.

Maybe i’ll concentrate on the drops only and then add wight into the mix to make it more difficult.

I’m still getting achey achilles/ankle bit first thing in the morning, but it then wears off after a bit.

I need to strengthen my glutes! They are groaning after yesterday’s weigted ‘boot run’. I think it’s what is aggravating my hernia repairs.

Yeah my hips are sore after 2-3 hours this weekend of hiking with about 15-16kgs on the back. Around Lustleigh on the moor and our local river walk. They’re not overly happy with me today!

Did you use a hip belt? I would normally, if walking; but with the running/speed marching I’m only using the chest strap and cinching the pack very tight & high on my back - to keep my hips unimpeded for movement.

Yeah i had the hip belt on, as i need the stability - it had the kid in the back! Plus i’m weak, so i didn’t fancy the pack on just my shoulders!! It’s also a big, metal framed pack, so you need the hip bit for the fit.

Good core training.

bad back training more like! was stiff this morning!

GB… my last bout of Achilles tendonitis my physio had me sitting the ‘wrong way’ at a leg curl machine and then putting the ‘ankle’ pad up onto my knee and doing (seated) calf raises this way. People in the gym will think you’re weird though.

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No, the controlled down versus up is to rehab the Achilles tendon. Holding the contraction isometric (muscle stays same length) or moving it eccentrically (muscle lengthens) allows you to load the tendon but reduces the compression on the tendon from the sheath. Therefore you can load the tendon without irritating it. Concentric contractions load the tendon but has compression so may irritate the tendon. In rehabilitating an Achilles tendinopathy you would normally start with isometric, then as soon as possible move on to eccentric and then again to concentric as soon as able. It’s not about different muscles but different way to load the same muscle and tendon. If your Achilles are fine then loading how @twhat ’s video shows would be fine. I like it as it is with a bent knee and therefore focusses on the soleus which is often where the issues lie but you would still want to load with a straight leg too.

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As for glutes, I think it is worth remembering that during running the hamstrings work with the glutes to extend the hip and if your glutes ‘need strengthening’, it would probably be worth also strengthening the hamstrings. Doing some proper lifts will always work both pretty well though.

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Any ideas of stuff i could do at home @pacha? the reality is i’m never going to set foot in a gym, so something i can cobble up at home will be the only option for me.

I see you have some achilles pain, is that your focus? (@gingerbongo)

I had physio for this. Glute bridges ( good form so not engaging quads at all ) RDLs and Clam shells with a resistance band. :+1:

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Body weight calf strengthening: Calf strengthening

Focus on Soleus: Lunge calf raise

Glute bridges are another exercise well worth doing, you can add variations such as doing them one legged, raise feet to make them more hamstring focussed or raise the torso for glutes. You can buy something like this, so you can add further load: slides

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Cheers for that @pacha
I’m glad the dude in the top video looks horribly awkward when doing the bent leg drops, as i felt like a right uncoordinated numpty trying to do them on Monday! I already do the single leg bridges, that was one from the physio that i’ve always done (when i’ve bothered to do S&C). The lunge one is new though, i’ll add that to my list, thanks.

Got a good 60 mins in yesterday, just need to keep the consistency of doing the S&C once/twice a week, and the drops whenever i’m standing around near the stairs e.g., when the kids are in the bath (small house - stairs right outside the bathroom).


Seeing as I am not swimming, I am now looking to this thread to fill my 45 minutes per day.

@pacha - Could you do us all a solid and post a nice little recap of what we can 3 times per week in 45 minutes, to cover a lack of swimming, cycling outdoors and running?

Sufferfest have just uploaded some of their Strength Training videos to youtube. No equipment required beyond a couple of water battles.


That kneeling hip drive is a little bit kinky!

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