Achilles Tendonitis Exercises PDF | Alfredson & HSR Loading PDF
Flawless Physio Logo

Achilles Tendonitis Exercises

James McCormack
Follow Me
Latest posts by James McCormack (see all)

Achilles Tendon strengthening exercises are essentially Achilles tendinitis (Achilles Tendinopathy) exercises. Two specific types of programmes have the most research behind them.

The Alfredson protocol is a heavy eccentric loading programme that can be done at home and a heavy, slow resistance (HSR) training programme that requires access to gym equipment. Outcomes for both Achilles tendon strengthening exercises are very similar for a decrease in symptoms and a return to function. However, the heavy and slow resistance has better compliance rates as it only needs to be done 3 times weekly, unlike the Alfredson protocol programme which is twice a day, every day.

Below, we detail both so you can decide which works best for you. Most people make their decision based on which is more convenient for their lifestyle. Please don’t begin any protocol without confirmation of your diagnosis from a medical professional.

Download Your Free Achilles Tendonitis Exercises PDF

We have curated a PDF download consisting of an Alfredson Protocol PDF and Heavy Slow Resistance Rehabilitation PDF

Heavy Slow Resistance Achilles Tendinopathy Protocol

3 times a week
3-4 sets
2-3 minutes rest between sets
5 minutes rest between exercises
3 seconds concentric and eccentric

                  Reps (RM)  Sets

Week 1: 3 sets of 15 repetitions

Weeks 2-3: 3 sets of 12 repetitions

Weeks 4-5: 4 sets of 10 repetitions

Weeks 6-8: 4 sets of 8 repetitions

Weeks 9-12: 4 sets of 6 repetitions


Heavy Slow Resistance Protocol | Achilles Tendonitis


Alfredson Protocol:

  • Standing on the edge of a step with your knee straight. Bring your body weight over to the affected side.
  • Counting down from 3 seconds, drop your heel down until you feel a stretch at the back of your calf/Achilles.
  • At the bottom, use your unaffected leg to return to your starting position. Do not use the affected knee for this phase.
  • Repeat with your knee bent.
  • 3 sets of 15 repetitions with your knee bent
  • 3 sets of 15 repetitions with your knee straight 
  • Twice Daily

Alfredson Protocol | Achilles Tendonitis

Alfredson Protocol | Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles Tendonitis Exercises To Avoid

In the acute stages of injury, we recommend avoiding excessive running, uphill walking and hopping activities. These are likely to contribute to further tendon irritation and increase inflammation levels.

Exercises unlikely to hurt the tendon are non-impact activities such as swimming, rowing and using the cross trainer.

The best way to treat a sore Achilles tendon is a heel lift, isometric exercises and impact exercise reduction.

We recommend that you receive an official diagnosis before trying any of the above, as there are numerous conditions that have a similar presentation to Achilles Tendonitis.

Exercising with Achilles Tendonitis

You can continue to walk with Achilles Tendonitis. We recommend walking for 30-45 minutes before taking a 10-15 minute rest. You can cycle both outdoors and on a stationary bike, but we recommend staying in the saddle and keeping a high cadence to reduce the stress placed on your tendon.

Weightlifting is unlikely to cause any issues. Although some patients may find squats or lunges uncomfortable, it is unlikely to worsen the condition.

We offer Private Physiotherapy via online appointments for £70 and Face-to-Face appointments for £90 in our clinics.

Related Articles

What are the different types of Achilles tendon issues?
Best Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis
Achilles Tendonitis Home Treatment

View Locations Book Online 020 8785 2232

Move Well, Feel Good, Be Better