T Nation

Tight Achilles Tendons

I have naturally thick ankles (very thick) and have been doing a powerlifting style type program for the past 5 years or so. While squatting and deadlifting however, I have to lean froward more than most people thereby using my lower back more and my hips and hams less. This is due to my extremely tight achilles tendons. I have tried the conventional calf stretches but they have not loosened up these tendons any. Has anyone had this problem or known someone with it? If so what did you or the person you knew do to correct it? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

I’d be interested as I suffer from the same problem.

Here are 2 stretches that i feel in my achilles.

Get into this calf stretch (if u do the stretch with ur shoes and socks off, u will have a better range of motion.)

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=640906

Try to put the front foot as high as u can on the wall without the heel leaving the ground. Keep ur back heel on the ground. Now bend ur knee and try to make it touch the wall.

try it and if it doesnt work ill try to explain it better.

the second one is-

sit down on the ground and put ur hand over ur toes so that the point of ur fingers are over the balls of ur feet. Put ur other hand by ur heel of the foot ur stretching.

Pull ur big toes back (not TOO hard)and with ur other hand push ur heel forward.

I think thats an achilles stretch correct me if im wrong.

Hope this helps.

Tom

PS the descriptions are kinda funky so if u need a better one just tell me.

I had problems with my achilles tendons when I was playing footy, and it turned out that it was due to the way I walked. I got orthotic inserts for my shoes and I’ve never had a problem since.

I have naturally thick ankles (very thick) and have been doing a powerlifting style type program for the past 5 years or so. While squatting and deadlifting however, I have to lean froward more than most people thereby using my lower back more and my hips and hams less. This is due to my extremely tight achilles tendons. I have tried the conventional calf stretches but they have not loosened up these tendons any.

Has anyone had this problem or known someone with it? If so what did you or the person you knew do to correct it?

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!..

I’m the opposite of you in that i have extremely narrow heels & flat feet along with my tight achilles. About five years ago i tore my left one & had to have it re-attached… For increasing flexibility i found standing one legged calf raises on a step work well. After one or two sets to get them warm i hang in the bottom position with my bodyweight (or holding weight if you can) on one leg while trying to point my toes up toward my shins. (Pointing my toes seems to help my calves relax.) I also stretch my ankles/calves by rolling my feet to the outside, inside, & finally on to the top of my foot to stretch my shins. Whatever stretches you do, do them faithfully cause you don’t want to tear an achilles!!

Try doing circles with your ankles.

  1. Toss your left foot on your knee.
  2. Put your left hand on your shin.
  3. Put your right hand around your toes and moves your foot in a circular motion about 15 times (slowly!) and then take it the other way.
  4. Rinse and repeat on the other side. Not only should this loosen everything in your ankles but it will also improve circulation and help fend off arthritis. Hope you feel better! O but for the guy with the blown out tendon I?d be extra cautious.

[quote]kickboxer wrote:

I’m the opposite of you in that i have extremely narrow heels & flat feet along with my tight achilles… [/quote]

Haha I also have an exercise to help get rid of flat feet.

  1. Put your foot/feet flat on the ground.
  2. Without lifting your feet attempt to pull the balls of your feet toward your heels.

No you can?t actually do this but it makes some of those little muscles/tendons/whatever are in your feet fire and starts to raise those arches. It should actually hurt like crap and your feet may cramp up a lot. But after a while, maybe a week or so, it won?t be so bad and you should start to notice your feet becoming less and less flat. Mine used to be fairly flat but now they are extremely high. It doesn?t even look like the center of my feet touch the ground. The nice thing is you can do it every day and anywhere. Barefoot, in shoes, riding on a bus, eating dinner, just whenever you think about it. Give this a shot if it bothers you

ScrambyEggs… Thanks, i’ll try it tonight. Last week i was diagnosed with achilles tendonitis in BOTH heels. (I look like a cripple getting up from a period of sitting.)

According to many health sites, athletes with flat feet are very susceptible to this… Funny, my specialist never mentioned anything about exercises to improve my arches, but then why would he? The money is in treating the symptoms!

http://images.t-nation.com/forum_images/./1/.1125228700641.achilles_stretch.JPG

[quote]LordNorvelli wrote:
I have tried the conventional calf stretches but they have not loosened up these tendons any.[/quote]

Like in the picture, shift your weight forwards onto the knee of the achilles you wish to stretch, top of the other foot is flat on the floor. The weight of your body will help with the stretch. This is probably the best achilles stretch around.

Whether more achilles flexibility is really the thing to help you though, I dont know… but stretching is good anyway.

You could also practise squatting a lot (but keeping your feet flat on the floor, that is HEELS as well as balls of feet) as you progress you will find you can keep your feet in a more narrow position. Lean your bodyweight forwards and extend your arms just over your knees you you dont fall back and look like a fool :slight_smile: It’s got a very tribal feeling to it, and apparently its how asian people go to the toilet. Do it every chance you have.