Improving tendon strength and/or thickness

Does anyone have any ideas and/or training methods to improve tendon strength and/or thickness?

Someone had recently asked me this question and I told them that I'd search for answers...might as well start here.

Low reps/high sets, heavy weight. Do a bunch of sets (>5) & low reps (<3) with weights heavier than, say, 80-85% of max. You’ve got to stick with it for a long time because it takes longer for tendons & ligaments to strengthen than it takes for muscle.

Just to offer you almost nothing interms of knowledge…which I apologize for. However I do remember Louie Simmons saying that tendons…and possibly ligaments respond to “ultra high reps”. Maybe due to their extremely slow metabolism? And by respond I’m thinking he ment strength. Thickness??? Again I’m probably talking out of my ass. :slight_smile:


Sorry, all i have heard is that higher reps improve blood flow to tendons, which have little flow. The SAID principle would suggest that heavy load or resistance would dictate tendon strength.

I always thought that training with heavy weights and low reps gives the tendons a good workout.

Heavy loads, and ballistic action. Your tendons will adapt to stress like anything else in the body, if you stress them with ballistic movements they adapt and become thicker and stronger. Just don’t over do it, tendons take much longer to recover than a muscle, and the last thing you want to do is injure a tendon.

If you play a sport involving running and/or jumping, weighted plyos will strengthen your tendons beyond anything you will face in a game situation.

Partials, lockouts done in power racks, singles with heavy weights. Just work into singles very gradually, its very easy to overtrain or injure yourself, takes time for ligaments to grow. Read Dinosaur Training if you want more details. Brooks Kubik says that after doing singles for a couple of years you will TRANSFORM your body.

NK is right, man: pick up a heavy weight and hold it. Sure, your muscles will scream but your tendons and ligaments will get the workout of their life.
Do those push-ups where you spring into the air and clap.
Do box jumps, or hop up the stadium steps at the nearby school. But these guys are absolutely right about recovery time. Those tendons will take a lot longer to recover than your muscles. And as such, you may feel you are loosing a little size. Athletes who have incredible ligament and tendon strength are generally those who worry less about absolute size.
Oh, and by the way, these exercises will also greatly improve your bone density. Just remember to eat healthy and rest.

Vewy interesting thread, indeed. Good stuff. I’m glad, Joel you posed this question here.

Thanks for the feedback…I’ll relay it to my anatomy prof. He was the one who was originally asking…I had some ideas, but you all have both confirmed those and added a great deal of others. Thanks again.