16 weeks - eccentric strength program begins

My physio has given me the clear to start the eccentric strength training phase of his protocol. Up to now I’ve been doing the eccentric lowers to the floor. I now have to build up to doing 3×15 straight and 3×15 bent leg eccentric lowers over a step twice a day, the idea being to go as far down into dorsi-flexion as possible while lowering on one leg. Once I have managed all 6 sets twice a day for a week, then I progress by adding 2kg to a backpack each week until I get to 14kg. I started this yesterday and I have to admit it hurt quite a bit in the tendon as it stretched down, so I just did 1 set each over the step and then another set to the floor. The physio said to expect this and just build it slowly as pain permits. This morning is much better and I’ve done 2 sets each, so I’m hoping to get up to the 3 sets each and then twice a day by next week.

I have discovered that I can do a single leg calf raise too. It’s not to full extension but I think I am getting 2-3cm which is great. I took a video and grabbed a snapshot - this is what it looks like:

Here’s a link to the video too for anyone who wants to see how I’ve slowly built up my morning toe rolls into doing a lift like this:
achilles-single-calf-raise

We discussed introducing jogging but the Physio wants me to wait and has two very good reasons for this:

  1. My dorsi-flexion is still pretty bad (6cm) and jogging requires quite a bit of flexion, so he doesn’t want a jogging step to force a stretch that I’m not ready for.
  2. Up to now I’ve been building strength in the plantar range, in other words from neutral / 90 degrees to pointed toes.  Jogging requires strength in the dorsi-flexion range that I don’t have yet, so he wants me to have done a few weeks of the eccentric strength program in order to build strength in this range before I start jogging.

It all makes sense and I wasn’t expecting to hear that I could start jogging, although I can’t say I wasn’t hoping.  By the sounds of it, I could be introducing jogging during the first or second week of January which will be 19-20 weeks for me and that sounds fantastic!  Very exciting.

I had hoped to start doing some plyometrics on a mini-tramp but the gym doesn’t have one and I don’t really want to buy one, so instead I will be doing them in the pool.  I am currently able to hop in the pool at chest deep water and the physio said I should continue doing this every 2-3 days and progress to shallower water.  I can also start doing squat jumps and stationary jogging in the pool.

So that’s my work load for the next few weeks.  I probably won’t check in again until the new year as there won’t be much more to report until I get new exercises or start introducing jogging.  Happy holidays everyone and I wish you all the best and happy healing!

2 Responses to “16 weeks - eccentric strength program begins”

  1. Good luck, make shure to keep us posted.

  2. Hey beanie, looking good! That whole calf/Achilles area looks in pretty good shape. Yeah, the injured one is clearly thicker than the other but it’s not too bad, and with continued exercises it will get better. I’m seeing the doc on Monday and I should be advancing to the next PWB stage, up to 50% body weight. Excited as I can start doing strengthening exercises!

Leave a Reply

*
To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture.
Anti-Spam Image

Powered by WP Hashcash