How to Strengthen Tendons

Climbers are always pushing their limits, and this often means pushing the capabilities of their tendons. This is especially true for the tendons in the fingers and forearms. The only way to truly strengthen tendons is to train them by increasing resistance at a gradual pace.

Although there are some hacks to speed up this process and help avoid injury. The three main things you can do to help strengthen tendons are as follows.

  1. Proper Nutrition
  2. Holistic Supplements
  3. Recovery Aids and Rest

By properly balancing these points, you will be able to increase the strength of your tendons safely and effectively.

Disclaminer: Training tendon strength can be very difficult and often lead to injury. Make sure you take your training at a slow pace and only increase resistance after proper rest and recovery. Consulting with a professional coach is advised.

If you are already injured and looking for how to heal tendons and ligaments faster, make sure to read our finger injury guide. If you are looking to start training please see your strength training for rock climbing guide.

Proper Nutrition – What Foods Strengthen Tendons?

Unfortunately, a diet of cheeseburgers and pizzas are not how to strengthen tendons. Really all junk food is out of the questions when trying to heal or strengthen tendons. Well, other than the Doughnuts from the Food Ranch! Kidding aside let’s go over the top foods to strengthen tendons.

Fruits and Vegetables

Yes, Mom was right. You have to eat more fruits and vegetables.

Food to strengthen tendonsFruits and Vegetables have antioxidants and a multitude of vitamins and minerals that help your body repair and strengthen tendons. The best fruits and vegetables to strengthen tendons are:

  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Oranges
  • Berries
  • Avacodo

Eating these fruits and vegetables will not only help your tendons, they will also help your overall health! Find more ideas for healthy food here.

Let us know your favorite meal you can make with these fruits and vegetables in the comments below.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are a favorite among climbers. They are a perfect snack that requires no prep and never really spoils.

How to strengthen tendonsNuts and seeds have a high concentration of minerals, such as manganese, magnesium, and zinc. These minerals will especially help with recovery from those long sessions in the gym. Always make sure to pack some of the following nuts and seeds when you go to workout.

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Flaxseed
  • Chia Seeds
  • Chickpeas

All the listed nuts and seeds are ideal foods to help strengthen and heal your tendons. They also all have a high concentration of protein or fiber. Not only will they help your tendons they are also beneficial for muscle recovery and digestion. These foods are best consumed during or after your workout to help the body start to repair and recover.

Fish and Meats

Fatty fish, seafood, and meat can also be beneficial for tendon strength. These foods are high in protein and have Omega fatty acids which have many different heal benefits.

Food for tendons and ligamentsThe best foods to eat are as follows.

  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Tuna
  • Oysters
  • Chicken
  • Turkey

All these foods are great to have for dinner. They have good protein and fats that help your body kick start the recovery process.

If you are a vegetarian don’t worry! If you eat the nuts, seeds, fruit, vegetables listed above you will be more than ready to strengthen those tendons.

Let us know in the comments below about your favorite dinner dish.

Holistic – Supplements to Strengthen Tendons

Supplements are a strange category of nutrition. Speaking from a purely scientific point of view, supplements are not required to strengthen your tendons. Although this is true, it is only if you eat a proper amount of the foods listed above.

If you are super disciplined then you can get away without using supplements to gain an edge.

For most of us, however, it is hard to get the proper amount of nutrition in our everyday diets to perform at peak athletic ability.

Take the following supplements for tendons with a grain of salt (actually don’t take extra salt, that will definitely not help your tendons..).

Protein for Tendons

Simply put, the best protein comes from food. For the average person, getting enough protein in their diet is easy. For climbers and athletes trying to push the limits, getting enough protein is more difficult.

The amount of protein needed per day is a hotly debated topic. Here are some calculators (Calculator 1 and Calculator 2) to give you an idea of what you need.

Another issue that comes when trying to get all your protein from food is timing. It is important to get protein into your bloodstream within an hour after a workout. This is difficult when trying to exclusively get protein from meals.

For this problem, we suggest getting a high-quality protein shake that you can take to the gym with you. This will ensure you get the best nutrition for your tendons.The suggested protein supplements are as follows:

These proteins are best when taken immediately following a workout or as a meal replacement when you don’t have the time to make a whole meal.

Follow the manufacturer’s suggestion for more information.

If you plan on bringing a shake with you on the go a bottle like this can make your life a lot easier!

Vitamin Supplements for Tendons

Vitamin supplements can be tough. You can easily end up reading a cluster of articles that will all suggest a different vitamin for your ailment.

To simplify everything, taking a high-quality multivitamin will work for strengthening your tendons.The trick is finding a multivitamin that actually works.

Many vitamin companies produce a low-quality vitamin pill that doesn’t really do the trick. Below are the suggested multivitamin supplements for tendons.

If you are looking for a specific vitamin you can browse the selection here.

Recovery Aids for Tendons

There are two kinds of people in this world, those that don’t use recovery tools, and those that do. When used right these tools can stimulate blood flow to the tendons and increase strength and flexibility.

The following are some of our favorites, but if you don’t see one that you like tell us in the comments below.

Armaid – Rolflex

The Armaid Rolflex is the best recovery tool for forearm tendons. It uses Self Myofascial Release & Trigger Points to help your body start to rebuild and strengthen your tendons.

This recovery tool has been redesigned from the Original Armaid to produce a portable and elegant product.

The Rolflex can also double as a tool to reduce pump in the forearms. This is especially useful for Sport Climbers.

The main use of this tool is to reduce pain from tennis and golfers elbow which is so often a problem for climbers.

Shop for the Rolfex Here!

Finger Massager – Acupuncture Ring

Simulating blood flow to the fingers and hands is quite difficult. These simple and inexpensive tools are a great option. For under $10 you can get both of the following tools.

These tools are very portable and easy to use. Make sure to bring one to the gym and maybe leave one at work.

Ice and Heat Therapy Mittens

It is known that icing and heating your hands is very beneficial for recovery and strengthen tendons. it can often be awkward to use an ice or heat pack on your hands.

These Therapy Mittens do the trick!

They are filled with a special gel that allows them to stay either hot or cold for about 1 hour.

After a long training session, your fingers will often be inflamed and this can lengthen recovery time. Using the Theramitts ensures that your digits will recovery fast and in turn strengthen quicker.

It wouldn’t be a bad idea to get 2 of these mittens to ice both hands at the same time. Your first pair will come with a discount code for the second mitten

Shop for the Theramitts Here!

Final Thoughts

We hope that this post on strengthening your tendons was helpful.

If you have anything to add please leave a comment below.

Keep Crushing Y’all!

Owner and Operator of Every Last Rock. He is dedicated to spreading the Stoke about all things climbing. Often found Bouldering around the US and obsessively training.

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