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Achilles stretches are important flexibility exercises to help prevent Achilles tendinitis from occurring. Watch this Human 2.0 video with Coach Dan Jones as he leads you through a simple Achilles stretches routine. This is especially good for older adults, runners, competitive and recreational athletes and people in general who play sports – in particular those who only play occasionally, like on the weekend. If this is you, try to incorporate particular Achilles stretches (like these) into your routine at least a few times a week.
In order to do these achilles stretches, you will need a golf ball, and a kettlebell if possible. The kettlebell isn’t completely necessary, but you will need some kind of hard ball – golf or lacrosse ball or something similar in order to perform the first of the three Achilles stretches.
At Human 2.0, we employ a “movement is medicine” philosophy and we believe that through fitness, exercise and general movement – such as doing this Achilles stretches routine – you can go a long way in taking charge of your health. Not everything is preventable, but there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of injury and infirmity.
Here is some more great information from the Mayo Clinic regarding the Achilles and Achilles tendonitis:
Achilles tendinitis is an overuse injury of the Achilles (uh-KILL-eez) tendon, the band of tissue that connects calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to your heel bone.
Achilles tendinitis most commonly occurs in runners who have suddenly increased the intensity or duration of their runs. It’s also common in middle-aged people who play sports, such as tennis or basketball, only on the weekends.
The pain associated with Achilles tendinitis typically begins as a mild ache in the back of the leg or above the heel after running or other sports activity. Episodes of more-severe pain may occur after prolonged running, stair climbing or sprinting. You might also experience tenderness or stiffness, especially in the morning, which usually improves with mild activity.
You should see your doctor if you experience persistent pain around the Achilles tendon. Seek immediate medical attention if the pain or disability is severe. You may have a torn (ruptured) Achilles tendon.
A number of risk factors may increase your chance of developing Achilles tendinitis, including:
1. Your sex. Achilles tendinitis occurs most commonly in men.
2. Age. Achilles tendinitis is more common as you age.
3. Physical problems. A naturally flat arch in your foot can put more strain on the Achilles tendon. Obesity and tight calf muscles also can increase tendon strain.
4. Training choices. Running in worn-out shoes can increase your risk of Achilles tendinitis. Tendon pain occurs more frequently in cold weather than in warm weather, and running on hilly terrain also can predispose you to Achilles injury.
5. Medical conditions. People who have psoriasis or high blood pressure are at higher risk of developing Achilles tendinitis.
6. Medications. Certain types of antibiotics, called fluoroquinolones, have been associated with higher rates of Achilles tendinitis.
Achilles tendinitis can weaken the tendon, making it more vulnerable to a tear (rupture) — a painful injury that usually requires surgical repair. Reduce your risk by:
1. Increase your activity level gradually. If you’re just beginning an exercise regimen, start slowly and gradually increase the duration and intensity of the training.
2. Avoid activities that place excessive stress on your tendons, such as hill running. If you participate in a strenuous activity, warm up first by exercising at a slower pace. If you notice pain during a particular exercise, stop and rest.
3. Choose your shoes carefully. The shoes you wear while exercising should provide adequate cushioning for the kind of runner you are. Getting a running evaluation to determine the best kind of shoes for you is a good idea. Also, replace your worn-out shoes.
4. Stretch daily. Take the time to stretch your calf muscles and Achilles tendon dynamically before exercise and statically after exercise to maintain flexibility. This is especially important to avoid a recurrence of Achilles tendinitis.
5. Strengthen your calf muscles. Strong calf muscles enable the calf and Achilles tendon to better handle the stresses they encounter with activity and exercise.
6. Cross-train. Alternate high-impact activities, such as running and jumping, with low-impact activities, such as cycling and swimming.
Check out some of our other Human 2.0 exercise tutorial videos:
HIP STRETCHES | lower body flexibility routine | Human 2.0
STRETCHES FOR RUNNERS | easy exercises for injury prevention and better health | Human 2.0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tO782