Knowing that effective Achilles tendonitis treatment is readily available is a big plus for all athletes. After all, it’s the most common sport related injury for people over the age of forty, and can plague athletes of all ages for their entire career if not given the attention it deserves.
There are fortunately a number of good exercises that help treat and strengthen the Achilles tendons. Walt Reynold’s Special Achilles Strengthener has proven to particularly effective:
To carry out Walt's SAS, aka the Balance and Eccentric Reach with Toes, start by standing on your right foot only as you face a wall, with your right foot about 30 inches or so from the wall (you may need to adjust this distance slightly). Your left foot should be off the ground and positioned toward the front of your body, with your left leg relatively straight
Then, bend your right leg at the knee while maintaining your upper body in a relatively vertical position and nearly directly over your right foot. As you bend your right leg, move your left toes toward the wall until they touch, keeping the left leg relatively straight. End the movement by returning to the starting position
Then, complete essentially the same motion, but move your left foot forward and to the left, again keeping your left leg straight and attempting to make contact with the wall. Your left foot may not quite reach the wall, since you are moving in a frontal plane (from right to left) in addition to the straight-ahead, sagittal plane. Notice that your right ankle pronates as you do this (ie, rolls inward), simulating the natural pronation which occurs during the stance phase of the gait cycle and forcing your right calf muscles and Achilles tendon to eccentrically control both dorsiflexion and pronation, as they naturally do during real running
Return to the starting position and then carry out essentially the same motion, but with your left foot crossing over the front of your body and going to the right as you attempt to touch the wall. As you do so, your ankle supinates, as it naturally does toward the end of the stance phase of the gait cycle. Then return to the starting position. Do a few (4 to 6) reps (the straight, left, and right motions make one rep) on your right foot, and then attempt the same exercise with your body weight supported only on the left foot and your right foot moving ahead. A nice feature of this exertion is that it also does a great job of strengthening your knee and hip muscles and coordinating their activities with what is happening down at the Achilles and calves
Of course, never attempt these exercises unless you have warmed up properly. If you've been prone to Achilles-tendon problems, here's a good routine to get into: at the very beginning of your workout, warm up by jogging easily for 10 minutes. Then, carry out the Walt's SAS movement before continuing on with the rest of your session.
Use slow speeds of movement at first, small ranges of motion (not very much bending at the knee), low resistance (just your body weight), and very few repetitions (only 4 to 6)
Once you're comfortable with doing the exercises in that manner, you can begin incorporating greater speeds, larger ranges of motion at the knees and ankles, heavier resistances (starting with very light dumbbells held in the hands and moving up to heavier ones), and more repetitions (starting with 7 to 10 and gradually moving up to 20 to 30). The idea is to progress in difficulty as you progress in strength and coordination
Walt's SAS is an excellent tonic for Achilles tendonitis treatment and carried out correctly and in moderation it's almost impossible to injure yourself. Plus, there's no financial cost involved, and the time required to do the routines is short. In just a few weeks, you could be back to your regular exercise programme again – without the pain of Achilles tendonitis.