Due to COVID, activity levels in people has reduced over the past year. See literature review here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33334073/https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbes-
This has had a particularly significant effect on athletes returning to sport. Myer (2011) found that NFL players suffered a significantly higher chance of Achilles tendon rupture in the preseason of 2011 following the lockout.
The review found that reduced access to training, activity levels and an overall lack of preparation led to the increasing change of catastrophic injury.
This is especially relevant at the current moment as many athletes of all sports and levels of play are returning to play.
Tendons receive less blood flow and must be loaded and stressed in a safe way to remain resilient and strong. Even if you stayed somewhat active with home workouts, unless you had a knowledgable trainer who ensured you trained your connective tissues during the lockdowns, you might be unprepared to simply jump back into typical training and competitive activity.
We would like to help keep athletes healthy and athletes returning to play. Please watch the following videos which include
A quick assessment
Isometric exercises for both the ankle and the knee tissues
An example of some low-intensity plyometrics you can do
Information on supplementation for healthy connective tissues and joints
1. Tendon Readiness Test
If you find either of the exercises difficult or painful apply the following videos below
Tendons receive less blood flow than muscles and must be loaded and stimulated to heal. Isometric are a great way to drive blood to the structure as well as load the tendon to stimulate growth, health and function of the structure.
This is also great for strengthening the surrounding muscles. An isometric exercise is actually a very slow eccentric contraction. While loading the tendon it slowly elongates a process called "creep". The muscles have to make up the change in length in order to hold the same position throughout the time of the exercise.
Isometrics for the Ankle - 2 to 3 rounds of 30-second holds per leg. This can be done as often anywhere between 2 to 7 times per week.
Isometrics for the Knee - Perform each exercise for at least 30 seconds. You can do these 2 to 7 times per week.
3. Low-intensity plyometrics
Stimulating the tendons repeatedly at low intensities promotes strong and resilient tendons. Activities such as skipping, hopping or "Ankle Dribbling" as shown below are excellent.
Perform this exercise or something similar for 2 to 3 rounds of 30 seconds 2 to 7 times per week.
Recommendation to add daily supplementation of 5-7g of collagen with 500-1000mg of
vitamin C. This can be taken in the form of gelatin or hydrolyzed collagen (collagen
peptides). Gelatin snacks can be made (see videos below) or gelatin powder can be added to
yoghurt, hot drink or whatever you want to try it in. Gelatin will get lumpy in cool liquids.
Hydrolyzed collagen mixes well when added to smoothies or stirred into room temperature
or moderately cool liquids.
This is not medical advice, simply a guide to help.
If experiencing pain while participating in any part of this program, stop the exercise or the
stretch immediately and inform your coach.
This approach must be applied over at least a 12 week period to allow for adaptations to occur. Consistency is key. If you would like a more in-depth program or coaching to ensure maximum results, please reach out or sign up for our membership service for full access to our programming.
For help, questions or just to keep us posted on how it is going please reach out to either
Myer GD, Faigenbaum AD, Cherny CE, Heidt RS Jr, Hewett TE. Did the NFL Lockout expose the Achilles heel of competitive sports? J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2011 Oct;41(10):702-5. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2011.0107. Epub 2011 Sep 22. PMID: 21941038.
Violant-Holz V, Gallego-Jiménez MG, González-González CS, Muñoz-Violant S, Rodríguez MJ, Sansano-Nadal O, Guerra-Balic M. Psychological Health and Physical Activity Levels during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Systematic Review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Dec 15;17(24):9419. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17249419. PMID: 33334073; PMCID: PMC7765528.