WHAT IS A TENDON INJURY and How to Prevent Them

As an athlete, performance is your goal. You train 5-7 times a week, sometimes even 3 times a day (constant repetition is required to master a skill)! You train smart and hard to exhaustion, only 2 weeks left till the game and you want to in tip top shape, and you are!


Everything is going well. Your academic scorecards are good, and your scholarship is a huge help, and if you are a pro, you’re probably very satisfied of doing what you want plus earn from it; and now there is a game ahead you are sure your going to bring home the bacon.

badass roadwork

Next day you wake up at the sound of the alarm. 4 am, just in time for roadwork. 6 am you’re already in the field for training, only a week before the big day, what could actually go wrong? You jump to catch the ball then upon landing . . . argh! What the hell was that!? A sharp pain in the knee you couldn’t get up, that’s probably ok perhaps you just pulled a muscle so you tried to get up again: you’re the ace player; the captain! And you couldn’t be seen like that or else your mates might loose their sprit, then you yell “I’m alright coach” as you courageously try to get up on your feet but then you drop on your knees again; you look at your coach’s face and he looks worried – that’s not good; like something tells you he’s seen it before. Then your team mates took you to the infirmary you were quite curious about what happened(and hoping for the best) .The doctor comes by with an x-ray plate in hand, you ask him what’s wrong and when can you get back to training. With a sad look on his face he delivers the news:

“you injured your tendon”

He told you it will take some time to heal but maybe you could get back to training after 6 months of rehab. Sh*t but the game is in a week! “I’m sorry”.


tendon injury

What is a tendon injury and what’s a tendon anyway? Your tendon is the very hard tissue that connects your muscles to your bone. That’s the white stuff that your having hard time biting through when you eat meat especially beef. Now a tendon has a very slow metabolism and thus its tissues take a very long time healing.

Tendon injury is rampant among athletes of sports whose movements require a lot of jumping like basketball, volleyball, or high-jump. You should really make an effort to avoid any kind of tendon injury but how?

That’s the wisdom for today: Train the tendon.

beckham injured

-(even Beckham can tear a tendon so why cant you? inspirational right?)

We Will use this study as a reference:

A study conducted by Danish researchers (Kongsgaard, M, Reitelseder, S, Pedersen, TG,Holm, L, Aagaard, P, Kjaler, M, Magnusson, SP. Region specific patellar tendon hypertrophy in humans following resistance training) focused on patellar tendon for it is relatively a common site of injury for athletes. It has been estimated that around 15 percent of athletes suffer from it.  The researchers observed 2 groups of volunteers while they go about a training routine. Training consisted of doing knee extensions for 12 weeks. Two different training programs were performed  three times per week. One program  called heavy weight training, consisted of doing 10 sets of 8 repetitions using 70 % on one-repitition maximum (1 RM) – the weight that one could carry for only a single rep. The other called light weight training consisted of doing 10 sets of 36 repetitions using light resistance that resulted in the same workload as that of the first group’s.

Results: The heavy weight training program resulted in significant increase 6 percent in quadriceps muscle size. The other group had no change in muscle size. Additionally  the 1RM knee extension with heavy weight training program significantly increased by 35 %. With the light weight group an increase of 19 %. With regards to the tendon the light weight training program increased patellar tendon size by 7 percent at the upper leg end and no change in the lower leg end. The heavy weight training increased patellar tendon size by 6 % at the upper leg end and 4 % at the lower leg end.

The results show that weight training does indeed increase tendon size and that heavy weight training may do this over a greater portion of the tendon than really light weight training. It is also important to note that tendon stiffness increased significantly with the heavy weight  but not with the light weight training.

Increased stiffness indicates an increase in tendon strength. An increase in tendon strength decreases the load in the tendon therefore decreases the chances of injury.

Well now you have it. If you are a serious athlete. Integrate weight training programs in your training, especially during off season when you have no upcoming matches. It would be wise to do 8-10 repetitions of exercises (with the weight that you could only handle for 8-10 reps –  if you can go over ten reps; that’s too light) and if you jump a lot do some knee extensions as well. I will post a sample basic training program that you could use even if you’re new.

For Sports that involve a lot of jumping include:

Squats 4 sets of 5

knee extensions 4 sets of 7-8 (Hold at top of the movement to feel the burn! Then steady and slowly bring down the weight)

knee extensions

and finally:

Calf Raises 4 sets of 10 to strengthen your Achilles tendons and prevent tears

Like what is said above include those in your athletic program for at least once a week. Eat your Eggs, people! It’s for your tendon!

A-Lifter- Don't forget to leave your comment/feedback below.  If this article was helpful, I am sure our book Real Talk Muscle will help you even more in your quest for muscle gain. Check it out you can read the first few chapters as well.
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