When I was running seriously [circa early ’90s] we did this one exercise “Achilles Straight Leg Hops” throughout the indoor track season. I actually enjoyed doing it; but, I couldn’t have told you why at the time.
There has been a lot of research, especially from the Mechano-Therapy world on loading of tissues. How movement REPAIR tissues and how we can prevent injuries from occurring in the first place.
Eccentric and concentric loading at joints effects our tissues in a positive way. In runners, the feet, calves, and achilles are discussed in nausea; and, as we all know numerous injuries stem from them!
If we load the achilles tendon we are helping the areas below [feet and plantar fascia], direct [achilles tendon] and above [calves]. You can absolutely do calf raises and drops on two feet or on one foot, which I am sure most of you have done before. OR, you can try this activity below.
Now, please do not do this if you have an injury. I am assuming you are healthy!
A few pointers:
1. STRAIGHT legs for the entire exercise except to start (mine are not exactly straight)
2. SPRING with the achilles. You are just plantar flexing and dorsiflexing the foot (nothing else is moving)
3. ARM swing for momentum
4. COORDINATION is needed because you are suppose to land in same spot every time (I didn’t)
5. BALANCE helps too 😉
As a side note, they have found achilles tendon injuries are not inflammatory, they are degenerative in nature, meaning a huge loss in collagen fibres. One of my favourite quotes is “Turn movement into repair” ~ Dr. Khan