Achilles Tendon Stretches For Runners

Natalie Cecconi
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Importance of Achilles Tendon Stretches

Achilles tendon stretches provide a way to lengthen and loosen the Achilles tendon. If you’re a runner chances are that you’ve heard of the Achilles tendon before. The function of the Achilles tendon is to connect the calf muscles to your heel bone. The tendon itself is a fibrous band of tissue and vulnerable to injury.

If a runner neglects to take preventative measures, it can lead to an Achilles tendon injury, which means the tendon has been strained or torn.

When you stretch the muscle, it removes any tension that is built up in the muscle and lengthens the fibers. The most common cause for an Achilles tendon strain or tear is overuse of the tendon and calf muscles. One way to prevent an injury is to stretch, rest, and strengthen the muscles.

Fortunately, the Achilles tendon stretches for runners are very simple and do not require any fancy, tricky method.

All you have to do is to keep your toes on the floor and tiptoe away from your body.

Warning: If you feel any pain or discomfort while doing the stretch, stop immediately.

Fortunately, there are also stretches you can do when you are injured. These can help your recovery. Your best bet is to take it easy and focus on stretching and strengthening while you are resting from running or working through an injury.

Several Achilles Tendon Stretches to Try

The main Achilles tendon stretches are divided into two groups. The static stretches are stretches, which you hold for a certain period of time to loosen and lengthen the tendon.

You can hold the stretches from a minute to a few minutes. And as you get more flexible and your flexibility improves, you can hold the stretch for longer periods of time.

There is no set rule for how long you should hold the stretch. Just feel your body.

If you feel comfortable after a minute, then hold it for a minute or two. If you feel strained, then hold it for a shorter period of time.

The second group are the active stretches. Active stretches are stretches, which you perform as part of your daily routine.

Like morning hopping or morning running as an example. These stretches are very simple and you can incorporate them into your daily routine.

They are easy because you don’t have to use any equipment. You don’t have to stretch in a specific way or hold a certain posture. They are stretches, which you do as part of your normal run or activities.

Static Achilles Tendon Stretches

You should hold the static stretches for a minimum of one minute. In the beginning, you won’t be able to hold for longer than 30 seconds, but over time, you will be able to hold the stretch longer.

Calf Stretch

(Achilles Tendon Stretch) For Runners

On this page, I show how to do stretching exercises for Achilles tendonitis, a common injury both among casual runners and professional athletes, especially swimmers and tennis players.

Let’s start with the first basic stretch for Achilles tendonitis relief.

Calf Stretch

This stretch helps to increase flexibility in your gastrocnemius muscle, which is located at the back of your leg.

To do this exercise, pluck your heels away from the floor while keeping your toes on the floor and the back leg straight. Hold your shoulder blades together. Then try to slowly straighten your back leg. You should feel a gentle stretch on the back of your calf. Hold this stretch for about 30 seconds before releasing. Do several repetitions every day to stretch tight muscles.

You can also sit in a chair while doing this stretch. Place your heel on the chair and push your heel away from you. You should feel the stretch in the back of your calf. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat several times.

Plantar Fasciitis

One of the most common causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. Running creates extra pressure at the bottom of the foot and can eventually result in tendinitis.

A simple way to relieve plantar fasciitis is to do a simple heel stretch while taking your first step.

Standing Toe Raises

Stand next to a wall with your right arm against the wall for balance.

Your legs should be about hip distance apart.

While standing straight, bend your left leg until your thigh is almost touching your calf.

Raise your left leg about an inch off the ground.

Hold it there for five seconds and then slowly lower your leg back to the ground.

Repeat this ten times with your left leg and then switch to ten times on your right leg.

Seated Towel Stretch

Begin by placing your right foot on a towel.

With your left hand, grab on to the towel at about waist level and pull that end of the towel toward you.

With your right hand, grab at about waist level and begin to gently pull the back of your leg.

This stretch should feel pretty good in your Achilles… if it hurts, stop. To increase the intensity of this stretch, pull harder on the towel with your left hand. If it feels good, hold for about 30 seconds. Remove your right foot and repeat on the other foot.

Stair Stretch

Preparation Lay on the floor with your hand on a step in front of you. Using the hand that is already holding the rail, use it to pull your body up and hold it while reaching with the other arm. The other arm, the non-holding arm, should be straight and be used to hold the weight of the body. You may need to leave the step and put your hand on the floor for additional support.

Action Slowly bend your elbow and bring your body up. Step up with your other leg. Slowly bend your elbow and bring your body down, lower your body back down and step back down with the first leg. Repeat for all stairs.

Retraction After you’ve reached the end of the stair, instead of turning around and going back up, have the next step in front of you. Slowly bend your elbow and bring your body down using the other leg. Step down with the first leg and slowly lower your body down. Continue repeat for the rest of the stairs.

Tips for Achilles Tendon Stretches

The Achilles tendon is an incredibly important part of your leg because it connects your calf muscles to your heel.

If you’re active, you no doubt put the Achilles tendon through a lot of stress and movement, which can cause it to tighten up from time to time. If it remains tight, it can cause pain and cramping.

An effective way to help restore the flexibility to your Achilles tendon is to stretch them out.

This is a simple and effective way to prevent discomfort and injuries to this part of your legs.

The following stretches will help you to achieve the flexibility you need to stay on the move and prevent pain from your Achilles tendon.

Start each of these stretches slowly, taking time to settle into the stretch and to get familiar with it.

Gradually add repetitions and hold the stretches for a longer period of time until you experience a gentle pull in your Achilles tendon.

Hold a stretch for 20 to 30 seconds and aim for three sets of each each time you try an exercise.

Toe Touch Stretch

Stand and lift one foot up. It should be flat on the floor with your toe touching the ground. Pull gently on your toes for a count of fifteen seconds. Switch to the other foot and repeat the counts.

Towel Stretch

Other Tips to Return to Running

Your Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in your body. It connects your calf muscles to the heel bone and is essential to walking, running and jumping.

When an Achilles tendon is injured, it is usually because overuse has increased its size and caused the tendons to tear. It may just be a single tear, but it can happen in multiple places at the same time. And if it involves multiple tears, they will most likely start to rub against each other, resulting in even more harm.

The most common cause of an Achilles tendon tear is sports. It is not uncommon for a new runner to experience an Achilles tendon rupture, and it can happen to an experienced and well-cared-for runner as well.

The following are the most effective ways to deal with an Achilles tendon injury:

Stretching and strengthening are musts to regaining mobility and preventing long-term restriction.

Ways to Stretch an Achilles Tendon

People who have had a ruptured Achilles tendon, whether it was short-term or long-term, will need to warm up well before any intense activity. And the first part of that warmup is the stretching.

A closed chain stretch will be probably be most effective for you! That means you need to start with your leg bent and supported. You can do this with a table or an object that is around a foot tall.