Written by Tom Goom, senior Physio at The Physio Rooms Brighton. Follow Tom on Twitter.

Our recent posts on calf tears and calf pain when running have highlighted the importance of improving calf strength. Persistent calf pain can be caused by muscles fatiguing when running due to underlying weakness. So we’ve put together a short video of exercises to transform puny pins into cracking calves…

A few practical points here – work the muscle to fatigue but don’t push through pain. Reps and sets with calf raises will vary depending on your strength and the goals you have. Usually start with around 15 reps, 3 sets with a rest of 1-2 minutes aim to build up to 3 sets of around 25-30. Don’t do strength work on the days you run – ideally leave a rest day between strength work and running. If you have calf tightness stretch after the strength work rather than before. All the exercises can be progressed by adding hands weights or wearing a weighted back pack.

Closing thoughts: strengthening calf muscles can be very useful to a runner and help resolve calf pain however if you have any concerns about injury or starting strength work seek advice from a qualified health professional. If in doubt get it checked out!



  1. My soleous muscle is very tight after running
    The inside calf muscle seams to be weak
    Which calf excersize would be best to strenghten inside muscle

  2. Your article specifically states “Don’t do strength work on the days you run”… can you give any advice to those of us who normally run every day (and furthermore do doubles on some days). I ask as the notion of giving up a days running (and “ideally leave a rest day between strength work and running”) each time these exercises are completed fills me with dread and would surely lead to a loss in running fitness over time? Especially given that (one would presume) the exercises need to be done multiple days each week to really benefit?

    Many thanks in advance!

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