🏋️Progressive loading of the Achilles tendon🤸‍♀️

running Feb 09, 2024

🏋️Progressive loading of the Achilles tendon🤸‍♀️

 🎯A neat study has recently been published by Baxter et al, which examined the Achilles tendon load in common exercises & compared them to walking and running.

🔍Our previous post discussed the importance of doing more than just calf raises to prepare for running activities, and this recent study reinforces this approach. This new data also provides a nice progression pathway for selecting exercises to gradually load the Achilles tendon

📊We have sorted all the exercises tested into 2 graphs. Graph 1 sorts the exercises by Loading PEAK, and then Graph 2 sorts the exercises by Loading RATE.

🙋How to implement this into rehab?

Firstly this data can provide a guide to progressively load the Achilles tendon: gradually move along the spectrum to increase the loading peak or loading rate.

🚶🏼‍♀️You can also use this to determine where to start a patient if they are painful on a particular activity. For instance, if walking is causing pain in the Achilles tendon, then it would be worthwhile starting with exercises that have a lesser demand (i.e. standing calf raises, lunges and step-ups).

🏃‍♂️Likewise if preparing the Achilles tendon to run, then you would want to ensure you can perform exercises that are a higher load than running (i.e. single leg hopping, drop jump single leg, or forward hops single leg).


  • Baxter, J. R., et al. (2020). "Exercise Progression to Incrementally Load the Achilles Tendon." Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise Publish Ahead of Print.

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