T Nation

Tendon Strengthening?

Hi all,

I was wondering if you can over strengthen your tendons?

For plyometric training you use the tendons to a great degree, so strengthening them would be beneficial. Would it not?

Thanks,
NeoSpringy

Tendons and ligaments strengthen and thicken as an adaptation to training in a similar manner that muscles do. From what I understand, tendons and ligaments strengthen and hypertrophy at a slower rate and do much better with higher repetitions than lower repetitions.

[quote]Checkmate wrote:
Tendons and ligaments strengthen and thicken as an adaptation to training in a similar manner that muscles do. From what I understand, tendons and ligaments strengthen and hypertrophy at a slower rate and do much better with higher repetitions than lower repetitions.[/quote]

I agree with most of this. They definitely do strength as you get stronger and they definitely take much longer to heal. What I’ve found to work for me (might not for you) is to do heavy days in the 3-5 rep range and really do quite a bit of volume. If I have a weak tendon I will know by the next day as it will be very sore, almost painful. I then will do higher rep days (5-8) until it is healed and repeat the whole process trying to hit more weight each time.

I feel you really have to push your tendons to grow strong by pounding them hard then backing off till they recover, similar to muscles, but a longer recovery process.

From what I have read, heavy singles are the best way to strengthen the bones, tendons, and ligaments. The book Dinosaur Training talks about this a good deal.

Look at articles/research for yielding isometric (EQI) and other forms of slow eccentric work

Stress them with heavy weight. Recover them with lighter weights and high reps. Get lots of blood into the joint so they can rebuild faster.

thanks all.

Sorry about the hi-jack, but its kind of on topic anyway.

What is it that makes some people have huge hands. During the fall I was working on a farm, and the old guy I was working for had giant hands. He wasn’t a big or fit guy or anything. Probably 170 pounds. But his hands looked like he could teard my arm off if he wanted.

My dad also has huge hands, He was bigger at one point but he’s probably 165lbs now. Still he has bigger hands then some of my 220+ lean friends. And I know he never did manual labour.

Is it a genetic thing?

hey smith k,

maybe a little bit genetic, but what about this.

Farmers work all day with there hands, so what type of work does your dad do.

IS it possible to over strengthen your tendons???

[quote]Smith K wrote:

What is it that makes some people have huge hands. [/quote]

People who have the name Troy Aikman have huge hands. Other than that, I think it is genetic.

[quote]NeoSpringy wrote:
hey smith k,

maybe a little bit genetic, but what about this.

Farmers work all day with there hands, so what type of work does your dad do.

IS it possible to over strengthen your tendons???[/quote]

He’s a machinist now, but its all run by computers. I know his father had big powerful hands too, and his grandfather as well. Both big strong guys. My dad was lighter, but still had big hands.

Hopefully over the next few years my hands get like that haha.

What do you mean by overstrengthening your tendons? I’m not sure exactly, but from my knowledge tendons are what attach’s your muscles to your bones. They dont contract or anything like that. Think of it as towing something with a truck. If you have a truck that can tow ten thousand lbs and you have a steel cable that can hold 20 thousand lbs, its not going to have a negative effect on the trucks towing ability. If however the cable can’t hold then you have a problem… And the cable could either snap (torn ligaments/tednons) or you just can’t use the truck to its full potential (Nervous system not allowing the muscles to contact as hard as they possibly can.

So Over strengthening your tendons wouldn’t be a bad thing (If its even possible. Tendons take longer to adapt then muscles)

Thats how I picture it atleast. I could be dead wrong lol.

guys, i’m sure ligaments and tendon can get real strong

forums.anabolex.com/showthread.php?t=39240

They adapt just like muscles do.

Only big defference is tendons and ligaments are not as vascular as muscles. Thus making recovery from an injury a slow one.

My tendons seem to grow when I do high rep eccentrics (heavy 15-30 reps).

Charles P. once wrote about this exact topic, his thoughts were to do a normal set of squats lets say, then set the safety bars on the side really high and walkout with 200% of the weight you just squated (this is for an parallel squat usually) Your tendons will be forced to support the weight, but your muscles will not burst (hopefully) because you’re just walking out and walking back in to re-rack the bar. I’ve tried it and I can say that your squat will jump up after just one cycle of trying it because your body will feel like every other load you place on it is so much lighter.

DON’T DO THIS MORE THEN 3 WEEKS AT A TIME. It’s very strenuous to the body apparently though. If you have any other questions PM me.

they definately can, my dad had a bad skiing accident in his 20’s or 30’s and lost two of the four tendons or ligaments holding his knee together, but in some rehab he strengthened the remaining two up and has had ZERO problems with then. But then again he’s also 5’11" and maybe 140-150lbs.

Heavy partials/supramaximal holds and eccentrics.

First port of call would be using free weights for 90%+ of your workouts