Load your tendons – they like it.

tendonsTendons are great, they connect muscle to bone and allow us to produce unbelievable force and attenuate weights of up to 8-10 times our own body weight. It’s pretty difficult to rupture a tendon but if you step on that football pitch, squash court or pogo up and down at a One Direction gig – without any recent exposure to these sort of activities. whilst enjoying  beacoup de French cuisine and carafes of red wine, you just might!

Tendons like to be loaded with tensile force, but this has to be done progressively. The biggest risk factor other than excess central adipose tissue (expanding waist lines from over indulgence minus regular exercise) is unaccustomed, excessive load through your tendon (the former activities mentioned). We have all decided that we suddenly like 1D, let’s be fair they are musical genii and will soon overtake the Beatles as the most influential band to have graced these shores. However if you decided to jump up and down on 1 or 2 legs for 2 hours  having not done it for some time you are likely to stimulate a “reaction” in your tendon.

If you’re a runner, avoid any sharp spikes in training load (hill sprints or a long run without graduated build up). If you haven’t played squash for a while, go for a couple of gentle jogs before going down to your local court and have a knock by yourself, before thrashing around for 40mins at a club night against people you think you could have beaten “back in the day”. Build up to every event/activity, increase your training load by 5-10% per session and your tendons will love you! They will gradually become conditioned and your will avoid developing a tendonopathy (you may know this as a tendonitis) or worse still a tendon rupture.

If this advice comes too late for some, I will be presenting the current research in my next blog for treating tendionpathies and rehabilitating tendon ruptures.

Right I’m off to practice my pogging, and get ready for the 1D’s headline Wembley show on June 6th, I should have enough time to build things up!