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I've heard that slow tempo resistance exercises are a good way to improve the strength / health of your tendons... I've first-hand experience of this too in the past when I had tendinopathy problems.

But I'm also wondering if high-rep training is good for tendons too? Apparently it increases blood flow.

Im thinking of doing some high-rep bicep / tricep exercises at the start of my arm workouts... could this be a good idea to keep my tendons healthy?

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As you mention, heavy slow resistance training is commonly used in the rehabilitation of tendon injuries. As is isometrics (2). BTW complete rest is not considered a good idea.

However powerlifters, and especially those on steroids, even though they train heavy risk tendon injuries such as pec tears. To avoid this they seem to be using ultra high reps (3), (5), (6). Louie Simmons: "Very light resistance starting at 25 and up to 100 reps are intended to build strength in not only the muscles but the tendons, ligaments, and bones by stimulating blood flow in these areas by using rubber bands." (6)

So it seems that the strength (<=5) and the endurance (>=25) rep ranges are both good for tendons. I am guessing that both are necessary and that they work differently. Without heavy strength training the tendons no not "feel" any need to adapt and become stronger, and without very high rep work they do not have the ability to do so, since they are dependent on movement induced blod flow.

I therefore think that "doing some high-rep bicep / tricep exercises at the start of your arm workouts is a good idea.

Since very light exercise is very easy to recover from, it would make sense to do these on your non lifting days as well (active recovery): "I trained a pro football player who always pulled his hamstrings. I put him on a routine of 2 x 100 reps on band leg curls every day and he never had that problem ever again." (3) Perhaps using a rubber band as mentioned above.

I have myself had some problems with my achilles tendons. I now warm them up by doing a few minutes on an assault bike before squats and deadlifts. I also use the assault bike or an ergometer bike with a light resistance in between sets to pump blood into the muscles and tendons.

(1) The vasculature and its role in the damaged and healing tendon

(2) REHABBING ACHILLES TENDINOPATHY

(3) https://thibarmy.com/missing-key-strength-power/

(4) Tendon Training for Injury Prevention and Explosive Power

(5) How JM Blakley and Dave Tate Built Tendon Strength

(6) SMART STRENGTH TRAINING

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  • So basically, a mix of heavy and light intensity workouts..
    – ahron
    Commented Apr 2, 2022 at 8:22

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