I am pleased when I see professionals going as deep as tendon training. But why do you need training for your tendon?
Is training your muscles doesn’t train your tendon? How is it even possible?
Yes, of course one can work on training the tendon however, I would like to see their related muscles before I suggest them to take tendon route.
Lets look at one of the most critical and talked about tendon – Achilles tendon.
Its health is directly related to the health of muscles that form it – Gasrtocnemius, plantaris and soleus. The common insertion of these muscles into the achilles tendon would mean synergistic activation of all the three muscles. Therefore, all 3 muscles must fire to their best potential to get the maximum output transfer from achilles tendon.
Q. When do muscles fire to their best potential?
Ans: When they are trained appropriately and there is a balance. If one muscle becomes stronger than the other then, but naturally, it would work extra. This would mean that one muscle out of 3 is definitely firing less than its potential. Yes, it does the work for sure but for how long can it go on?
Soleus muscle, which is rarely visible, is actually bigger than Gastroc in cross-sectional area and therefore provides the majority of work (plantar flexion). Gastrocnemius comes into play more in explosive/fast/powerful movement. So a player needs both as a group what we know as ‘Calf’
Q. What should be done about tendon training and when?
Ans: Firstly, I wouldn’t advise you NOT to do both (tendon & muscles training) together. In my opinion, one should work on the muscles in off season and do mobility training for the tendon in season. Your muscles getting stronger or becoming big would inadvertently include strengthening of the tendon. However, one should be able to extract this strength via their movements in their respective sport. And tendon training helps you to do just that and therefore, it should be an important part of your warm ups/training.
Mobility is the key for tendon. There is no need to load it up again. It is strong and ready to unleash.