Exercises to Strengthen Your Achilles Tendon
Just like many injuries that are frequently related to physical activity or exercise, the presence of Achilles tendonitis in most athletes (or the pain surrounding the Achilles tendon towards the back of the heel), can often be attributed to periods of repetitive stress or overuse. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic surgeons - a sudden increase in your regular running distance, or an attempt to exercise while you're managing the stress of tight calf muscles can also add to your risk of developing the condition.
Fortunately, one of the best things that you can do not only to prevent cases of Achilles Tendonitis in the future, but also potentially speed up recovery, is to strengthen and stretch the surrounding muscles. Following are some tips on how to strengthen your Achilles tendon, though you might find that you want to invest in calf compression clothing for support, and speak to your doctor before you get started.
Strengthen Your Achilles Tendon - Stretching Exercises
First and foremost, the best way to begin recovery from a period of Achilles Tendonitis, is to use stretching methods. One-leg calf stretches can be particularly effective at improving your range of motion and increasing the level of support in your lower body.
Start by placing your hands against a stable surface such as a wall, while keeping one leg extended straight behind you. Keeping the other leg bent, and your back heel against the floor, lean forwards from your hips until you feel the calf muscle in your rear leg begin to stretch.
Strengthen Your Achilles Tendon - Strengthening Exercises
Once you've finished stretching, the next step to prevent further injury is to strengthen your Achilles tendon gradually, using gentle sets of repetitive motions. The best moves for targeting the Achilles tendon typically include:
- Raising your entire body weight up and down on your toes ten times - first using both feet, then gradually progressing to using one leg at a time.
- Sitting on the floor with your legs stretched out, and using a towel or elastic band around the sole of your foot to push your leg away from your body, while providing some resistance.
- Making use of the machine designed for leg pressing at your gym. Again, this exercise will begin with you using both of your legs at the same time, before gradually progressing to use each leg separately.
Strengthen your Achilles Tendon with Exercises for your Feet and Legs
Importantly, strengthening your tendons and ensuring that you're less likely to fall victim to a case of Achilles tendonitis in the future does not rely entirely on the strength in your ankle. It's important to build up the stability and endurance throughout the whole of your lower body, to ensure that your legs have the maximum level of support at all times.
Take the time to seek out an exercise routine that engages your hips, knees, calves, and thighs so that you can build your lower muscles gradually over time. And remember to maintain a healthy weight too - so as to reduce the strain your joints and tendons need to manage.
Leave a comment