Achilles Tendonitis Exercises
Achilles Tendon strengthening exercises are essentially Achilles tendonitis (Achilles Tendinopathy) exercises. There are two specific types of programmes that have the most research behind them.
The Alfredson protocol, a heavy eccentric loading programme that can be done at home and 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 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.
Achilles Tendinopathy Exercises: Heavy Slow Resistance Programme
3 times a week
2-3 minutes rest between sets
5 minutes rest between exercises
3 seconds concentric and eccentric
Reps (RM) Sets
Week 1 15 3
Week 1 15 3
Week 1 10 4
Week 1 8 4
Week 1 6 4
Achilles Tendonitis Exercises: 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
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.