Strengthen your Back and calf muscles


Lie face down on a hyperextension bench while placing your ankles securely on the footpads. The upper pad should be adjusted to ensure your upper thighs lie flat across the pad with room to bend at the waist without any restriction. Lie with your body straight, cross your arms in front of you or behind your head. Inhale bending forward slowly at the waist as far as you can while keeping your back flat. Feel a stretch on the hamstrings but don’t round your back. Then slowly raise your torso back to the initial position as you inhale, but avoiding arching your back past a straight line and do not swing the torso at any time in order to protect the back from injury.

Calf Raises

Stand on a stepper facing a pillar for support. The balls of your feet should be secured on top of the stepper with your heels extending off it. Push upwards by extending your hips and knees until your torso is standing erect. The knees should be kept with a slight bend; never locked. Raise your heels as you breathe out by extending your ankles as high as possible and flexing your calf; the knee is kept stationary at all times and no bending at any time. Hold the contracted position then go back slowly to the starting position as you breathe in by lowering your heels as you bend the ankles until calves are stretched.

Calf Raises—variation

This helps to increase the movement available at the ankle and to increase the strength of the soleus muscle. Bend forwards, parallel to the floor but ensure your back is straight and not rounded while standing on the  stepper. Move both your feet towards the edge so that the balls are on it and your heels are extended off the edge. Bend both knees. Keeping the angle of the knees the same inhale as you reach your heels below the step and then exhale as you raise your heels towards the ceiling.  Inhale as you reach your heels below the step and exhale as you lift your heels. Repeat 8-10 times

Ajay Dhamija is a Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer (ACSM & Progressive Fitness), Kick Boxing Expert, Strength & Condition Specialist with over 10 years experience. www.