Why Is Tendon Strength Important to Consider when Training?
What is tendon strength? When it comes to workout splits, you often hear people say it’s ‘Chest’ day, or ‘Pull’ day, whatever tickles your pickle. But, how often have you heard people say ‘today is Tendon day, bro’?
Never. Because that would be stupid.
Nonetheless, ensuring that your workouts are not only helping you build strength, muscle, burning fat etc, you also want to make sure you’re building your tendon strength too. One of the most common injuries you hear people struggle with from lifting weights is Tendonitis, and it’s not hard to understand why. Luckily, working on building tendon strength isn’t complicated – it’s actually a very simple thing you can do when it comes to training but is hugely looked over from gym bro’s and ladies alike.
To understand this, let’s look at what tendons are and what they do.
Tendons are the connecting tissue between bone and muscle. It is through tendons that muscles transmit force and make movement possible. For example, if you want to flex your elbow and face your palm towards your face, it’s the bicep muscle that exerts force through its connecting tendons which then brings your arm up and twists your wrist around accordingly – you can look at your bicep, flex your arm and twist your elbow and you’ll see your bicep dance about along with the movement. Notice how this also looks like what you would do if you were to perform a bicep curl to build muscle.
The reason we perform movements to build muscle is because we want the muscle to perform what it is designed to do in a full range of motion, under load. That way the muscle is then doing what it is designed to do, but with the stress of more load being added to it which forces the muscle to tear, which we repair with protein, nutrients and rest. The muscle then gets a bit stronger and a bit bigger to handle the additional load, hence an increase in muscle size and strength. Repeat over and over, and you have yourself a chizeled, golden physique much like the greek god you think you are.
So where does building tendon strength come into this?
Now we understand what tendons do, it leads us to question, ‘so what can I do to make sure I’m building my tendon strength as well’ – which is when I direct your attention to one kind of gym goer in particular. Everybody’s least favourite gym goer, themselves included and that is – The Ego Lifter.
You know the ones, they throw a dumbbell in the air and it swings back down, back and forth and they scream ‘ONE’, claiming that they have done a bicep curl. They throw 400kg onto a barbell and stand with it, only to barely bend their knees before they claim they’ve just done a squat.
Other than looking extremely bad in the gym, this is extremely dangerous for tendon strength. What this does is one of 2 things – it will load the muscles without the tendons or vice versa. Loading the tendons that are responsible for our muscles without actually loading an exercise through a full range of motion will cause injuries long term, as the body is not moving in the way it wants too. And similarly, throwing weights about and ‘muscling’ it up is just as sure a way to get injured as well.
This is why the key thing to remember, no matter what exercise you are doing, that form will always be king.
Always make sure that you’re lifting with good form and using weights you can handle in your desired rep range, and tendon strength won’t ever be a concern you’ll need to have. If you do have any doubts about correct technique, why not look for a Personal Trainer?
Here at Fitbook, we have Personal Trainer’s readily available up and down the country. Why not have a look, at www.Fitbook.co.uk