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Q. I love Barre workouts and have been doing it locally. I have an issue with my Achilles Tendon and noticed that it has been sore. Do you have any feedback to assist with this issue? - Thanks, Rita
A. With any injury it is important that you receive specific guidance from your therapist/practitioner on how to modify your workout routine. Some approaches to barre workouts incorporate more calf work than others as you relevé (lift up on balls of the feet) and balance on one or both feet. It’s also important to know that you are affecting the deep calf muscle (soleus) & the achilles tendon when you plié (squat) with the heels down. Emphasis should be placed on conditioning the muscular structure in a balanced way by focusing on both concentric and eccentric strengthening of the soleus muscle. This is done by controlling the lifting of the heel and the decent of the heel back down to the floor when you relevé and monitoring how deep you plié.
A slower eccentric training program (controlling the lengthening phase of the muscle) through the ankle joint is often prescribed with Achilles tendonopathy. Movements need to be controlled and perhaps a full 1 hr barre workout incorporating the ankle joint throughout may be too aggressive for the injury. Always monitor how you feel during the workout and be sure to proceed to other body parts if pain persists as it would be advised to take a break from the ankle movements.