Torn Achilles Tendon

Question:

Hi, I really enjoy the site. Excellent content. I am a personal trainer just starting out in the field.

I have a potential client who would like for me to train him as soon has he gets cleared from his current injury.

He tore his Achilles tendon playing soccer, and after he completes his therapy, he wants to conduct a few sessions with me to strengthen his Achilles and eventually get back on the soccer field.

Do you have any suggestions as far as exercises you would have him do?  Thanks so much for your insight.
 

Answered By:

Mike Behnken, MS, CSCS ANswers the Fitness Question

Qualifications of Mike Behnken

achilles tendon rupture

 

This depends on the type of treatment he received for the torn Achilles tendon. Was a slight tear or complete rupture?

If it was a slight tear there was a chance he received non-surgical treatment. If this is the case there is a higher likelihood of re-rupture which will require extreme caution during personal training.

If he had surgery to repair the tendon it is less likely to re-tear. A slightly more aggressive training approach may be taken.

The most important things about personal training is injury prevention.

  • Make sure he warms up thoroughly with a low impact exercise such as the stationary bicycle.
  • Have him write the alphabet with his toes multiple times a day to ensure full range of motion and flexibility.
  • Start with low impact exercises such as walking and stepping up small steps before progressing.
  • Perform calf strengthening exercises in a slow controlled manner at first.
  • Stretch the calf muscles thoroughly after general warm up and after training sessions.
  • Always perform a general cardio cool down with light calf stretching after sessions.
  • Encourage him to place ice on the Achilles tendon after training sessions.
  • If he has flat feet, encourage him to get professional orthotics or store bought foot inserts at the very least.

Train the rest of his body as usual. Avoid any plyometric (jumping, hopping) exercises for at least the first month of training.

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