It’s not uncommon when I tell friends that I have a physical therapy app (to help patients do their exercises) that these friends inquire if I could recommend exercises for them. Recently, I was asked if I could recommend exercises for a friend who injured his Achilles Tendon while playing racquetball. He had recovered from his injury and wanted to start running again but discovered that his push-off strength was imbalanced. Not being a physical therapist, I don’t prescribe exercises but was able to point him towards Dr. Leada Malek’s recent Instagram post where she demonstrates several Achilles Tendon exercises. My friend was able to find these exercises in PT-Helper Pro and create his own unique exercise program to build up his calf strength.
Some exercises recommended by Dr. Malek are:
Eccentric Heel Raise – 2 Up 1 Down: Stand facing a wall with your feet shoulder width apart. Place your hands on the wall for support. Raise both heels simultaneously. Transfer your weight to one leg and raise the other leg while keeping your heel raised. Hold. Slowly lower your heel back to the ground. Lower your raised foot. Repeat.
Weighted Seated Heel Raise: Sit on a chair and place a weight on top of your thigh of your affected leg. Raise your heel off the floor. Hold. Lower your heel back to the ground. Repeat.
Weighted Seated Heel Raise with Riser Block: Sit on a chair and put a riser block under your affected forefoot so that your heel is below the level of the block. Place a weight on top of your thigh of your affected leg. Raise your heel above the level of the block. Hold. Lower your heel so that it is below the level of the block. Repeat.
Squat with Heel Raise: Stand with proper form with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend your knees while lowering your hips to go into a squat position. Holding the squat position, raise both heels off the floor. Hold. Lower both heels back to the ground while staying in the squat position. Repeat.
Reverse Lunge to Triple Extension: From a standing position with feet hip width apart, take a large step backward with one leg as you bend both knees to go into a lunge position. Your front knee should remain above your ankle (for the leg that didn’t move). Do not allow your knee to move past your toes on your stationary foot. Push off with your rear foot as your rise up and bring your rear leg up in front of you. Simultaneously raise your heel of your front foot. Return to the lunge position. Repeat.
In addition to the exercises listed above, we have many more exercises available to help you achieve your recovery or fitness goals.
Reminder: Please consult your physician or health professional before engaging in any physical activity and stop if you experience pain or discomfort.