can we reduce Achilles injuries?

The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the human body. Older, powerful gymnasts are at risk of snapping them.


Dave brainstorms possible causes:

… a gymnast may be taking forces 9x – 17x their body weight with every tumbling pass,

Who may be taking a very high number of turns per day/week/month

Who may have flat feet and looses shock absorption, which also causes almost double the force to go through the inside of the Achilles tendon,

Who most likely has tight/shortened calf muscles getting pulled on forcefully during impact

Who also may have very bad squatting and landing technique at baseline causing a lot of force to go through the ankle joint and Achilles

Who may not possess the adequate strength and muscular/neuromuscular capacity to handle the forces of gymnastics

Who may not be completely ready for the complicated tumbling skill or dismount at the end of their routine

Who is in a very stressful, fatigued physical/mental state trying to perform during the middle of their competitive season

Possibly landing on mats that have seen better days and aren’t ideal for landing

Hybrid Perspective – Combating Achilles Tears In Gymnastics (Pt I): Investigating Possible Contributing Factors

Published by

coach Rick

Career gymnastics coach from Calgary, Canada.

3 thoughts on “can we reduce Achilles injuries?”

  1. Any yet the FIG continues to insist we land with a complete upright upper body, minimal knee bend, and complete stuck landing – who designs these rules?! They obviously know nothing about the biomechanics of a landing (if I can’t bend my knees and absorb my force over the longest period of time I am increasing the impact going through my ankles, knees and other parts of my body). Just compare the expected and performed landings now to those in the ’90s – not only do they look more artistic with a lunge, but they can land in a lower squat incurring minimal deduction. They have also not permitted the gymnasts to swing their arms in between leaps of a connection. This is like asking a sprinter to keep their arms still while they accelerate from the block. It is all silliness and is not making “artistic gymnastics” any more artistic or safe. Get it together FIG and consult with those that are going to be affected by the rule changes the most (the athletes).

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