Achilles tendinopathy and calf strains are common issues that many clients struggle with as they age and with participation in sports. Strengthening the gastroc/soleus complex and Achilles ten-don will help improve physical performance and reduce injury risk.

Holding dumbbells, raise up onto the balls of the feet. Maintain this heel elevated posi-tion and slowly walk back and forth over the desired distance. Rest for 30-60 seconds and re-peat for 2-3 sets. Choose the starting weight and distance according the the client’s strength ca-pacity and load tolerance.

Perform the activity with bodyweight only

1. Increase the distance = more time under tension
2. Increase the weight

This exercise is an effective way to strengthen the gastroc/soleus complex and load the Achilles tendon. For clients with chronic Achilles tendon issues or weakness, this provides a way to load the tendon concentrically (shortened position) and work on muscular endurance. Be sure to assess the client’s response to the load during the exercise, as it may produce fatigue and some slight discomfort/burning as fatigue sets in. Adjust the load or distance as needed and avoid pushing through any pain that may occur.