Leg and other bodily injuries shouldn’t stop you from exercising and strengthening your legs, provided you workout with greater care in the future. Rest after an injury of any kind allows your body to heal and regenerate, and regular exercise to rebuild strength is part of the process of healing. Consult your doctor or physical therapist before starting a new exercise routine after an injury, and never continue exercising if it hurts your back, legs or other injured areas of your body.
While you’re still in the recuperative period, incorporate some gentle stretching to rebuild strength and prepare your legs for an additional workout. Toe lifts where you raise your toes off the floor, stretching your calves and slow, gentle lunges help stretch calf muscles and limber tight tendons and ligaments. Continue to build strength by rising onto your toes, holding the position for 10 to 20 seconds. Lower yourself back down to a flat-footed stance and repeat for several reps.
Cycling on a stationary bike helps build the muscles of the calves and thighs and provides a good cario workout. Try recumbent or upright bikes, experimenting with different positions to see what’s most comfortable. As you progress with your therapeutic workout after an injury, be sure to stay observant to how you feel as you exercise. Stop any exercise that causes pain. Avoid adding additional resistance or biking uphill if you experience any pain.
Swimming and water aerobics are both excellent ways of building your calf muscles and avoiding additional injury. Working out in the water removes much of the resistance you experience on land and allows your muscles to strengthen and become more limber. The water’s boyancy relieves pressure on your legs and backs, allowing you to propel yourself through the water.
As you progress and become stronger, you can workout on a stair stepper to build calf muscles as long as it doesn’t cause you pain. The stair stepper is low impact and allows you to take advantage of the movements you’d use climbing stairs without the pounding your legs and feet would take.
Sports Science Orthopedic Clinic: Overview — Calf Strain
PhysioRoom: Rehabilitation Exercises Following a Calf Strain
WomenRunningTogether.com: Calf Injury
Sportsinjuryclinic: Calf Strain Strengthening Exercises
Tennis Injury Free: Calf Muscle Strain — Tennis Leg
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