Calf Raises Straight Leg on a Step
This exercise is intended to increase the range of motion at the ankle joint. It is very similar to the calf raise with a straight leg from the floor but it adds the step or stair that increases the proprioceptive challenge as well as the range of motion.
To do this exercise begin by standing on a stair step, and then move both of your feet towards the edge of the step so that the balls of your feet are on the edge and your heels are extended off the edge. Then inhale as you reach your heel below the step and stretch the calf muscles or the gastrocnemius. Then exhale as you lift the heels into the air maintaining equal weight on the balls of your feet. Inhale as you slowly reach your heels below the step and exhale as you lift your heels towards the ceiling
Things to watch for:
Your balance will be more precarious in this situation so a gentle hand on the stair railing may be of assistance when you are beginning this exercise.
As with all of these ankle exercises it is important to think of it as a full body exercise. Even though we are isolating the movement of the ankle you want to imagine beginning this movement by reaching the top of the head to the sky.
You can also imagine lifting your belly button and your heel at the same time when you exhale.