Achilles Tendon Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo

Achilles Tendon Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo

Hey everybody, it’s Doctor Jo. I’ve had several
emails asking about achilles tendonitis and how to stretch it out to make it feel better.
I do have some videos that have calf stretches, like my plantar fasciitis video and shin splints
video, but today I’m just gonna show you how to stretch out the achilles tendon and hopefully
get it feeling better. For the first stretch, find a wall or something to lean in to. You
want to bring the leg that you’r stretching out to the back kind of behind you, and bring
the other one bent in front of you. The important part of this is the back foot, you want to
keep your heel down. If it comes up like that, you’re not gonna be able to stretch that achilles
tendon. So keep that heel down, and make sure your toes are pointed towards the wall. Sometimes
people are gonna turn it out and stretch it like that, but that’s not gonna stretch it
out. You want to make sure those toes are straight forward. Keeping that heel down,
leaning against the wall, and you’re gonna bring that knee on the other side forward
so you’re pushing it right into the wall and getting a good stretch in that achilles tendon.
You want to hold it there for about 30 seconds, and you want to do that 3 times. Make sure
you’re keeping that back leg straight and not bending it cause that’s gonna change the
muscle that your stretching and you want to make sure you’re stretching that calf muscle
that’s attached to the achilles tendon. If this is a lot of pressure on your shoulders,
then what you can do is bring your foot up to the wall, and try to get your toes as high
as you can. Keep that heel down on the ground, and then lean in to the wall. The higher you
can put your toes up on the wall, the more stretch that you’re gonna get. Same thing,
you want to hold it for 30 seconds and do that 3 times. The last stretch, you want to
use a step. And if you have a step ladder, like Ido, you can use that. Make sure it’s
locked in. You want to put the ball of your foot right on the edge of the step. And then
just let your heel drop down. Now make sure you’re on there good and that you’re not gonna
slip off and hurt yourself. But just let that heel drop down and relax that foot. And again,
you want to hold that for 30 seconds and do that 3 times. So that is 3 simple stretches
for your achilles tendon. So if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments
section. And if you’d like to check out some more videos, like the plantar fasciitis video
or shin splints video to check out some calf stretches, please go to And
remember, be safe, have fun, and I hope you feel better soon.

48 Replies to “Achilles Tendon Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo”

  1. Hi
    Ive been suffering from chronic achilles tendonitis for 4 months now.
    Stupid school trip, my ankles werent conditioned.

    Is this a good routine to do, as I recently discovered my ankles(calves,feet) are very tight? I once did trigger point release and it felt so weird in a good way, really soft afterwards.

    This is my upcoming routine, will start tommorow and do for atleast 6-12wks
    Hip flexor stretch 2 min
    Quad stretch 2 min
    Massage my feet and then my calves
    Stretch calves, stretch feet. 2 min
    Why 2min? my tendons are short and Ive read and saw a lot of people say that its much more effective to lengthen your shortened tendons.
    I also dont feel it is working well when I stretch my calves just for 15-30 sec.
    For biceps and some other muscles it works, but larger muscles and calves I prefer 2 min.

    As it has been 4 months, I think mobility is way more important than strength.
    Athlethes treating athlethes(youtube channel) recommended me to first gain mobility(stretch,massage) for a few weeks. Then include strength work.
    Whats your view on this? It really sucks to have it in both feet ha.
    I can walk, but long walks kill me afterwards. My achilles tendon gets really tight the day after and long walking is a no-no. Cycling is non painful and feels great so I stick to that.

    So your balancing exercises were doing a great thing but I think I first should focus on gaining mobility and stretch before  I get into strengthening later on.
    Am I right?
    Excuse me for wall of text, but my local doctors put me on anti inflammatory drugs which I refuse to take since it never helps and is just symptom treatment.

    One thing I really like about your videos is that you are helping us instead of 'treating' like most PT's or doctors do. I think you know what I mean with that:).

    Would be interesting if you could make videos about posture,anterior pelvic tilt and some other deeper stuff!

  2. One more crucial note is that I recently wondered why my calves where  so tight after I woke up. I came to the conclusion that I point my toes down when I am sleeping. Must be because of weight of the blankets…

    However, as this has been for some months.. how do I prevent this?
    I think the main cause of my achilles/calve tightness is due that I sleep in that position for 8h long.

    I see all over the place that you also should stretch your hamstrings but I am already in a severe Anterior Pelvic Tilt so that wouldnt be really benificial it would only make my posture worse, right?

  3. Hi Jo i Keep getting archilles tendonitus change shoes now wearing Nike 5.0 with higher toe to heel drop of 6-8mm I did wear nike free flyknit but the tightness of the flyknit in the heel keeps hurting archilles is it the shoe or do I have to stregthn the calf and archilles to improve I am 59 and have been running 35 years but didnt stretch alot in my earlier years what should I do

  4. Doctor Jo can you help? I often wake through the night with a sort of cramp but this is so painful that I'm often up & out of the bed before my eyes are open. It feels & looks like my calf muscle has clicked out place & the next day the same leg is really weak. Can the calf muscle move like that & what could this be? Many Thanks for your quick response.

  5. Recovering from achilles tendon injury (insertional) I believe my tendon is recovered and building strength, but when I try to run I can feel some stiffness, these stretches are helping me. My question is, is it alright to warm the tendon before stretching? I'm using hot gel packs before this since the last thing I want is to stretch a cold tendon and tear it again 🙁

  6. For years i have been walking on my toes out of habit ever since i was little. and It seems now at age 16 my Achilles tendon is too short and i have to wear the forest gump braces. (They're not metal though) I'm going to try these excersises and get back to you. Thanks doc!

  7. when i begin to run, my achilles begins to bother me, but it comes and goes. how long does it take for your achilles to recover?

  8. Thank you kit tape is good but not a fix , learning the hard way I guess. I've heard a lot about stretching and not stretching before a run what's your advice ?

  9. hi Doctor JO ,
    I have been suffering Achilles tendon more than 7 years the cause was playing football too much time when i rest the pain goes off and when i start play football ,run and wear flat shoes the pain comes again is that possible to eliminate totally by stretching with out surgery ? thanks v.much

  10. is it as effective to stretch a muscle in prolonging a stretch for the total time of the amount of reps I'm planning to do without performing reps? ^^"? ^^"

  11. Suffering for the past few months & now doing Physiotherapy. How about heel cushions? Are they really useful?

  12. I'm not sure if I have this but I have pain in my heel when I run too much or start playing sports and what not, is that something different, or is it Achilles tendinitis?

  13. thank you for these exercises! I have finally recovered from severe fractured heel from one year ago and went thru the prescribed rehab. I also follow your stretches at home and it has helped me a lot. More power to you!

  14. hello myself i have finished surgery of complete tear tendon achillies now i cannot make my ankle up down how long it take to make my ankle up down

  15. Hello,
    I had an Achilles related injury maybe seven years ago. In the morning my feet, my calf tend to be tight..the same symptomsalso occur if I sit somewhere too long… Is it best to do this exercise warmed up or straight out of bed? Thank you

  16. This is way too painful to do.. What else can I do to stretch it? I am recovering from a broken ankle and overdid the workouts I was doing resulting in pain in the back of my heel.

  17. My surgery is a month ago. This was what happened to me when I was playing soccer, can I still play football after recovery?

  18. My Achilles tendon is calcified, I can't move my foot up because of it. My doctor recommended me stretching it at least twice a day. I've been doing it for a whole month and I still see no difference. Is this really what I should be doing?

  19. i am stretching against the wall but i only feel tension in the calf muscle but not in the Achilles tendon. What should i do ?

  20. I have walked on my toes for ever 10 years. I got into i as a little kid. Can these help me? Can you think of anyway to get me to snap out of it? If so PLEASE PLEASE let me know!

  21. your stretches helped me alot. i tried the belt stretch my doctor told me hasnt been working at all and one simple google to find doctor jo. after your stretch i instant felt a change in how im walking. im recovering from a broken heel

  22. I have taken about 8 weeks off from running due to sore Achilles and have just started stretching how often should i stretch my Achilles?

  23. wife had spur surgery , now tendon is short and they want to go in and make it longer, can this be stretched to avoid surgery .

  24. I’ve been in a boot all day and will be for the next three weeks but I’ve been stretching, even tho I have a partial tear and it has helped a lot

  25. Super…Super helpful! OMG the pain is rough and the stretches have helped so much. You are amazing!

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