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This question was indirectly embedded within other more general questions I made in this site, for example here and here. But the scope was more general. I would like to do this specific question here now, mainly because I have found very interesting information that can be useful to another readers, so I will answer it by myself. Please note that I will not elect my own answer as the best one: you are encouraged to post your own answers and relevant information on the question too.

This all has happened because I started training at middle age with very poor conditioning. In only a month and a half, I managed to see my muscles bulking in the mirror and I was enthusiastic, but I had to stop and it is months now that I am healing a lot of different tendinosis. Which shows that, at middle age, your skeletal muscles might feel as young as ever, but your tendons play in a different league and a different approach is needed. So, my question:

Regardless of muscular hypertrophy or endurance or whatever your goal, what is a specific way of weightlifting specifically directed towards strengthening your tendons?

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This is not an answer to the question, but I have been in your specific situation (tendinosis everywhere), and it turned out to be just angry trigger points. I solved about 90% of my problems by finding a trigger point massage therapist. –  Jeremy T Oct 10 '13 at 20:04

1 Answer 1

What my new therapist uses to prescribe in order to help healing not very severe tendon problems is slow eccentric exercises, aka negative phases, with very light weights, two or three sets, three times a day, everyday.

Now, I think that you don't need to be a rocket scientist to understand that, whatever is useful to heal and strengthen an injured tendon, is likely to be helpful in strengthening a healthy tendon as well.

Here are some links to places where I have seen sort of confirmation to this question, and references to scientific papers:

This link, tendinosis.org with this paragraph, among other interesting data:

Studies have shown that loading a tendon parallel to its length helps the collagen fibers grow with better parallel alignment and speeds the healing process. (...)

Some studies have shown that eccentric exercise is especially helpful for tendinosis. [50, 51, 52, 53, 54] Eccentric exercise is when a muscle is forced to lengthen while it contracts because it is being used as a brake or to absorb energy while doing "negative work."

This other post in T-Nation, Accentuated Eccentric Training says:

Eccentric training is also a superior method to treat tendinitis when compared with concentric exercise (Mafi et al. 2001). It could be argued that this form of training is beneficial to injured athletes and that it's relatively safer than concentric training even if the loads used are greater.

But the best one on this question of tendons and tendonitis is this one (in T-nation too):

Surfing the web one day, I came across a posting on a newsgroup that described a study done on runners with long-term, chronic Achilles tendonitis. The study involved a new treatment that achieved remarkable results in only 12 weeks. (...) The study, done in Sweden, used two groups of fifteen middle-aged ex-runners who couldn't run due to chronic Achilles tendonitis. (...) The special exercise program involved performing calf raises with the legs both straight and slightly bent twice a day, seven days a week for three sets of 15 repetitions (to hit both the gastros and soleus). The subjects performed the concentric part of the exercise (raising the heel) with the uninjured ankle and used the injured side to do the eccentric lowering phase in a slow, controlled fashion. (...) At the end of the twelve-week period, all the patients in the exercise group had returned to running at their pre-injury level. (...) In a recent two-year follow up of the fifteen runners in the exercise group, fourteen were still running pain free(...)

Judge by yourself.

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Supporting evidence: reddit.com/r/weightroom/comments/1sdl08/… –  Dave Liepmann Dec 11 '13 at 12:23

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