Hi, it’s Rob from New Leaf Physiotherapy and we are here in beautiful Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. Today, I’m going to go over the eccentric calf exercise. I give this exercise to a lot of people with pain around their Achilles tendon/ heel area.

I personally find that this is one of the best exercises that people can do to help with pain in the Achilles tendon area.

What is eccentric exercise?  It is when the muscle lengthens under tension.  This means that when you are doing a calf exercise it’s not the going up onto the toes, it’s the action of coming back down off the toes to having your foot flat on the ground, that is helpful.

When you’re doing an eccentric exercise I always get my people to only do the down phase of the calf on the injured leg,  How do I do that?  Let’s say that it is my right calf/Achilles that’s bothering me.  I’m going to go up on my left toes, then transfer my weight onto my right toes, taking my left foot off the ground, only standing on my right foot.  I slowly lower my right heel down to the ground.   You can hold on to a wall or kitchen countertop for balance.  Try not to put any weight through the hand, only balance.

So up on the left foot, and slow, controlled lowering on the right foot.

In my practice, this is one of my go to exercises for helping my clients with pain in the Achilles area.  I find that it helps to reduce their pain and get them back into action quickly.