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Ankle Exercises

Achilles Tendon Stretches

Minute Read

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Posted 10 months ago

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Last updated: 03/12/2022

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by James McCormack

The Achilles Tendon absorbs enormous amounts of force when walking, hopping, and running. All tendons attach muscle to bones and the Achilles Tendon attaches the Gastrocnemius and Soleus muscles to the heel bone (Calcaneus). The Achilles Tendon absorbs force as it stretches and then recoils like a spring to lift the heel from the floor. When the Achilles tendon becomes overloaded it can become stiff and tight, this is where Achilles Tendon Stretches can be beneficial.

In this article, we are going to show you the 4 best Achilles Tendon Stretches.

Standing Gastrocnemius Stretch

  • Stand upright, place one leg straight behind you and your other leg in front
  • Keep the heel of your hindfoot on the floor and lean forward against the wall
  • Once you feel a stretch on the back of your Achilles tendon stay in this position
  • Hold: 45 seconds
  • Repeat: 3-4 times daily

Standing Soleus and Achilles Tendon Stretch

  • Stand upright with one leg behind the other
  • Bend your back knee while keeping your heel on the floor
  • Stop and hold once you feel the stretch on your Achilles Tendon
  • Hold: 45 seconds
  • Repeat: 3-4 times daily

Gastrocnemius Stretch off a Step

  • Stand with your heels off the edge of a step
  • Keep your knees straight and slowly lower your heels
  • Stop and hold once you feel a stretch on the back of your leg
  • Hold: 45 seconds
  • Repeat: 3-4 times daily

Soleus Stretch off a step

  • Stand with your heels off the edge of a step
  • Bend your knees while slowly lowering your heels
  • Stop and hold once you feel a stretch on your Achilles Tendon
  • Hold: 45 seconds
  • Repeat: 3-4 times daily

Achilles Tendon Stretches: Conclusion

When carrying out an Achilles Stretch, we recommend that you gently enter the stretch and stay there for up to 45 seconds. Try to not rock back and forth within the stretch and try to avoid overstretching by forcing the movement.

We recommend that you receive an official diagnosis and guidance from a Physical Therapist before performing any Achilles Tendon Stretches.

This is not medical advice. We recommend a consultation with a medical professional such as James McCormack. He offers Online Physiotherapy Appointments for £45.

Should I stretch my Achilles Tendon if it hurts?

It is not advised to stretch the Achilles Tendon if it hurts as doing this can further irritate the tendon. Strengthening exercises are the gold standard form of treatment for Achilles Tendonitis and these should be guided by a Physical Therapist.

What causes a tight Achilles Tendon?

If you have stiffness and tightness in your Achilles Tendon first thing in the morning or when walking after sitting for a long period of time, then it is likely that you have Achilles Tendonitis. This is a common source of Achilles Tendon tightness. Alternatively, if you are a keen runner of play a jumping sport like basketball, having a stiff tendon can be beneficial to facilitate a great spring when jumping.

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