Fix It Friday – Achilles Tendinopathy Phase 3

Fix It Friday will feature common injuries/difficulties in dancers with a few tips to improve or prevent them!

This is phase 3 of our Achilles Tendinopathy Series! Check out phase 1 here. Phase 2 here.

After you have gone through your earlier rehab for your achilles tendon and are basically pain free, you have to start preparing the tendon for the full demands of dance. You need it to get comfortable with explosive movements, adding more load, and strengthen the rest of the ankle as well. Try out these exercises if appropriate or check out our earlier videos for initial rehab strategies.

  • Speed Heel Raise Against Wall: Tendons are meant to handle the forces of jumps, but if you’ve had an injury, the wall helps to offload some weight for early return to jumps. Lean against a wall (the further back your feet are, the harder it becomes) and lean your weight into it. Try to quickly bounce your heels up and down. Start with 5-10 times only and if feeling good after 60 sec rest, you can begin increasing it up to 30 seconds of work over the course of a week.
  • Weighted Tib Anterior Toe Lift: Dancers spend a lot of time pointing their toes, but need to balance the muscles that do the opposite movement as well! If you do not have a kettlebell, you can use a band and just have someone hold it or anchor it under something sturdy. You want to slowly lower your toes as much as able (without losing the resistance), then pull the toes up toward your head. Pause at the top and repeat. Initially work lighter weight for higher reps, 20-30, but as it gets easier, slowly increase the weight until 10 reps is challenging.
  • Foam Forward Floor Touch: This movement gets the whole leg and your balance systems fired up. Your goal is to stand on some foam, a mat, or even a rolled up towel (or flat if too hard) and keep your foot flat (no heel rising off the ground). From here, keep your spine in neutral (flat back), as you bend the hips/knee to tap the floor. You may not be able to go all the way down without rounding your back, so just go as low as able. Start with just 4-5 per side and build up to going lower and up to 10 per side for 2-3 sets.

This is not medical advice. This is general exercises performed for this condition. Please seek professional advice for injuries or pain persisting over time. If general exercise gives you pain, you likely need more specific and direct attention. Take care of your body.

To keep up with our videos, follow along here or on any of our social media platforms.

Scott DPT
#BeyondCrunchesandPilés

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Group Information and Equipment Guidelines

Review the information below to find out which track is the right one for you. You can also watch this video that walks you through the options.

Once you have chosen your track you can submit the form at the bottom of this page. Select one and only one option, please.

Play Video

Group 1:

If you have access to equipment such as free weights, any cardio equipment (rower, stairs, treadmill, bike, etc.), and other things common in a fitness center, “Group 1” is for you!

  • You could also run rather than use cardio equipment
  • Options to include steps, med balls, etc. included, but these are optional

Group 2:

If you’re primarily doing this at home, with resistance bands (though a few small weights can easily be added if you have them), but still can use stairs, bike, run, or have some cardio equipment access, select “Group 2”

Group 3:

Lastly, If you don’t like to run, and don’t have access to any cardio (no stairs, bikes, or lap pools) then the last option is for you! “Group 3”

  • You will still get cardio, but in the form of exercises, you can do in a single room. This option was made specifically for COVID and people who can’t easily get outside.

Group 4:

This program is made specifically for the demands of male dancers, taking into account some extra work for upper body to support partnering, extra stability for the lower back, etc. This option is similar to group 1 in terms of equipment need.

  • If you need a band only option, please consider the co-ed options of group 2 or 3.” If you need a band only option, please consider the co-ed options of group 2 or 3.

No track is better than the other, you will get results regardless. You can find more information about the equipment requirements for each track by scrolling down.

Equipment Guidelines

Required

Weights:

  • Medium to heavy dumbbells (anywhere from 10-50 lbs depending on experience)

Bands:

  • Strong Resistance bands that can be short loops or long for different exercises
  • Plus an anchor to hold it in place
  • Cable machine would also work

Cardio:

  • Either access to equipment (any of the following: pool, bike, treadmill, rower, stair stepper, elliptical)
  • Or space to run, actual stairs, or a bike a safe space to ride it

Recommended

Squat Rack and/or Suspension Trainer

  • Squat Rack and barbell could be used instead of suspension trainer (not just for putting the weight on your back, but also movements where you may hold on the the weight in the rack)
  • If neither available, band alternatives are provided

Misc:

  • Stability Ball
    • Sliders or a towel on smooth floor can work as well
  • Box/Step/Sturdy bench to step or jump on

Optional

Weights:

  • Medicine balls
  • Kettlebells can be used or substituted for other weights
  • Squat rack and barbell for adding increased challenge to some movements

Required

Bands:

  • Strong Resistance bands that can be short loops or long for different exercises
    • Plus an anchor to hold it in place
  • Cable machine would also work

Cardio:

  • Either access to equipment (any of the following: pool, bike, treadmill, rower, stair stepper, elliptical)
  • Or space to run, actual stairs, or a bike a safe space to ride it

Recommended

Misc:

  • Stability Ball
    • Sliders or a towel on smooth floor can work as well
  • Box/Step/Sturdy bench to step or jump on

Optional

Weights:

  • If you get dumbbells, barbells, etc. you can easily add them into this program. 
  • Medicine balls

Required

Bands:

  • Strong Resistance bands that can be short loops or long for different exercises
  • Plus an anchor to hold it in place
  • Cable machine would also work

Cardio:

  • Due to COVID-19 some people have to space to go outdoors or access to equipment. This program will take away traditional cardio work, and replace it with exercises you can do with a band or just bodyweight in any room. 
  • If you enjoy running, biking, or swimming (and have access to it regularly) we recommend group 2)

Recommended

Misc:

  • Stability Ball
    • Sliders or a towel on smooth floor can work as well
  • Box/Step/Sturdy bench to step or jump on

Optional

Weights:

  • If you get dumbbells, barbells, etc. you can easily add them into this program. 
  • This program is a better option if don’t often have access
  • Medicine balls

Group 4: NSNH Men

Required

Weights:

  • Medium to heavy dumbbells (anywhere from 10-50 lbs depending on experience)

Bands:

  • Strong Resistance bands that can be short loops or long for different exercises
  • Plus an anchor to hold it in place
  • Cable machine would also work

Cardio:

  • Either access to equipment (any of the following: pool, bike, treadmill, rower, stair stepper, elliptical)
  • Or space to run, actual stairs, or a bike a safe space to ride it

Recommended

Squat Rack and/or Suspension Trainer

  • Squat Rack and barbell could be used instead of suspension trainer (not just for putting the weight on your back, but also movements where you may hold on the the weight in the rack)
  • If neither available, band alternatives are provided

Misc:

  • Stability Ball
    • Sliders or a towel on smooth floor can work as well
  • Box/Step/Sturdy bench to step or jump on

Optional

Weights:

  • Medicine balls
  • Kettlebells can be used or substituted for other weights
  • Squat rack and barbell for adding increased challenge to some movements