Tendon/ligament training

AleksSalkin

Double-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
My single, searing goal for the end of this year is one-arm chinups for reps on each arm.  Since I don't want to ruin my more-or-less major injury-free training track record, I realize I need to focus on strengthening my tendons and ligaments so they stay strong and healthy as I do this increasingly tough strength work.  I may not exactly be at a point where I need it yet, but I know I will be before long.

In Beyond Bodybuilding (which, if you don't own, you should), Pavel touches on the topic of tendon and ligament training and mentions two necessities: Heavy support holds and high-rep work (ie. 3x30 full bodyweight squats).  Apart from the aforementioned high rep work, what would be a good skeleton crew of exercises to employ for improved connective tissue strength?  And how often should you do it?  Anyone with any track record of this stuff/good ideas to include, I'd be very appreciative.  And naturally, Pavel, if you're reading, feel free to weigh in.

 

Aleks
 

TheFitLifePT

Triple-Digit Post Count
The bodyweight isometric "feats of strength" have done wonderful things for settling my shoulders & elbows --

Rear lever, front lever, planche progressions, and handstands. Practice on each of the above has also improved my progress toward the OAC in various ways. (I practice handstands daily and levers every other 4-8 week cycle.)

For the elbow, particularly, the biceps statics in the lever positions has been excellent, in addition to a few days of high-rep supine rows at the end of each of my training cycles.

Standard disclaimer: this has worked for me; no science to cite.
 

AleksSalkin

Double-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
Dunte, that's great to hear!  Especially the stuff about levers and handstands - it gives me an excuse to practice them since I'm not currently working them very hard.
 

TheFitLifePT

Triple-Digit Post Count
The goal, of course, is for them to complement your training without interfering. I'm also working on the OAC; it and the one-arm handstand are my primary goals for 2013. So my lever work takes a backseat much of the time (only practiced every other cycle, as I said, and even then not every session), while the rows do great things for recovery.

Regardless of how you program, good luck! I look forward to hearing about your progress.
 

AleksSalkin

Double-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
"The goal, of course, is for them to complement your training without interfering."
^^ Naturally.  I would love to do levers and assorted amazingness only as much as it will complement my one-arm chin training.  I took your rows idea and used it after my training session today, as well as squats and easy pushups.  Normally I don't do much high-rep stuff, but I can definitely see how it'll be helpful now.

Thanks for your well-wishes!  And likewise, keep me updated on your progress as well.  I'd love to hear what works for you.
 

Pavel

Founder and Chairman
Master Certified Instructor
Alex, weighted chins plus one-arm lock-offs will provide the heavy half.  The rep stuff should ideally be a variety of movements for your elbow—not just curls but also pronation, supination, etc. through a full ROM. Very, very light.
 
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