restore: the legs program

Rear foot elevated split squat strength!


RFESS Block 1: slow eccentric (with calf raises)

In this first “phase” or block of Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat strength, we’re focusing on moving very slowly as we descend.  This is the block where you will load up to the greatest degree.  Start conservatively and build progressively. 


The focus of this BLOCK 1 strength training is on the SLOW ECCENTRIC lowering phase. 

For all of the strength training included in this program, it will be smart to warm-up dynamically to prepare for your training. 

What is the ideal warm-up?

  • It will depend upon what you were doing prior to the training. If you’ve been sedentary, you’ll need more of a warm-up and will need to mobilize tissues and joints first.
  • Always do some Short Foot exercise and some barefoot proprioception practice. This increases foot-to-core sequencing and will enhance sensory input, both of which will improve the quality of the training which follows.
  • Feel free to include a warm-up set prior to actually DOING the first focused set. For this exercise – the Rearfoot Elevated Split Squat – some bodyweight versions to get moving and ease into the set can be the ideal warm-up.
  • You always want to build into a set and a workout, trust your intuition, and err on the side of caution. Always!

Here’s your instructional video. Watch and listen closely! 

The structure of the session:

  • You will perform a set of 3 reps for each side, then go straight into one set of straight-leg calf raises.  For both legs. 
  • You will then rest for as long as you need to but as little as possible, before repeating with another set including the calf raises.
  • You have the option of starting with a warm-up set if you wish. The decision to do that or not will depend upon what you did or were doing right before this session.
  • Rest between sets: take as long as you need but as little as required. The goal is 3 quality sets.

Here is how each session should look:

*Reps and Sets: 3 of each 
*Timing: 6 second descend / 1 second push back to the start position.
*Rest interval: after each set, you will perform one set for each side of straight-leg calf raises.

The video below is a “Follow-Along” Block 1 session including calf raises!


* We are each using loads that reflect our individual progression. Please use what YOU feel and know to be appropriate for you!

* It is much better to start conservatively and build steadily, then it is to start too aggressively and lose steam (and form) as you go.

Train smart!

Block 1 FOLLOW-ALONG! (11:55)