Up To 75% OFF EVERYTHING + FREE shipping

How Do You Perform Eccentric Heel Raises Correctly?

Eccentric heel raises are a great way to strengthen the calf muscle and prevent Achilles tendon injuries. Here is how to perform eccentric heel raises correctly

a man in a white shirt and blue and pink suspenders
By Babafemi Adebajo
Shir Lapidot
Edited by Shir Lapidot

Published October 31, 2021.

If you like to run or take long walks, an eccentric heel raise is a good exercise to incorporate into your home program. Not only does it strengthen the calf muscles, but it also helps prevent Achilles tendon injuries. Additionally, it can be performed easily, almost anywhere, and without any fancy equipment.

Which Muscles Are Worked During Heel Lifts?

The calf muscles. Chiefly, the gastrocnemius. However, since the soleus also plays some part in the heel lifts, eccentric heel raises work both muscles.

How To Perform Eccentric Heel Raises

You can perform heel raises from either the standing or sitting position. Here's how:

Seated heel raises

Diagram showing seated heel raises

Sitting isolates the action of the calf muscles so they can be exercised directly. It also allows you some measure of comfort as you exercise. To perform the heel lifts:

  1. Sit on a chair or the edge of a bed with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Raise your heels as high as you can, pause to allow maximum stretch, then lower the foot to its initial position.
  3. Repeat 20 to 25 more times to make a set.
  4. Repeat a set 5 to 6 times daily.

Standing heel raises

Diagram showing standing heel raises with chair support

Standing heel raises aren't as comfortable as those while sitting. Apart from working the calf muscles, they also strengthen other muscles attached to the Achilles tendon. To perform the heel lifts in this position:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Hold on to a chair or countertop for support.
  3. Raise your heels till you're standing on the balls of your feet.
  4. Hold, then slowly lower your heels till they touch the ground.
  5. Complete one set of 20 to 25 reps.
  6. Repeat about 5 or 6 times daily.

The Bottom Line

Whether Achilles tendonitis or Achilles pain or any other Achilles pathology, eccentric heel raises, done well, solve for all.