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  • Writer's pictureLuke Nelson

Calf raise to fatigue test: feel the burn!

Updated: Jul 15, 2021

The Single leg calf raise test is a simple way to assess your calf strength at home. In this blog we discuss how to perform this test, and what you should be aiming for.

Firstly some keys to performing this test:

  1. You can use your fingertips against a wall to balance you, but don’t pull yourself up the wall

  2. Ensure you are getting the full height on each rep, you can have someone assist you by holding a ruler above your head, and ensuring you touch this with each rep

  3. Pace yourself at one second raising and then one second lowering- you can use a metronome

  4. Try and push up through your big toe, NOT the outside of your foot.

  5. Avoid hiking your opposite hip or bending/straightening your knee to get up

What should you be able to get to?

A recent study by Herbert-Losier et al (2017) found the following normals for male & females which can be used as a reference:

  • 20-29yrs: Males 37 reps, Females 30 reps

  • 30-39yrs: Males 32, Females 27

  • 40-49yrs: Males 28, Females 24

  • 50-59yrs: Males 23, Females 21

  • 60-69yrs: Males 19, Females, 19

  • 70-79yrs: Males 14, Females 16

  • 80-89yrs: Males 10, Females 13

You should also ensure that there is no greater than 10% difference between left and right legs.

Why does it matter?

For anyone recovering from a lower limb injury, or those participating in running sports, adequate calf strength is important, and hitting these normals should be part of your return to sport criteria.

For further assistance please don’t hesitate to contact us at

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  • Hebert-Losier, K., et al. (2017). "Updated reliability and normative values for the standing heel-rise test in healthy adults." Physiotherapy 103(4): 446-452.


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