An Achilles Tendon Tear is one of the injuries that I fear most. It can take up to 12 months to get back to activities that you participated in previously (which for me means basketball).
One of the strategies that I implement with clients who are:
-middle school / high school / college athletes
-clients who train like athletes
Is to implement loaded isometrics where the calf muscles (specifically the Gastrocnemius and Soleus) are concentrically oriented (shortened) which shortens the Achilles Tendon thus creating a greater level of load (stress) on the tendon.
This helps lay down more collagen fibers in the Achilles Tendon (provided that the exercise is done consistently over time) which makes the tendon more resilient, stronger, and less prone to injury.
What's the Exercise?
How Often Should it Be Done?
How Many Sets & Reps?
Start at 1 set of 30 seconds on each leg. You can progress to 1 set of 2 minutes each leg.
Is There Anything Else That I Can Do to Strengthen My Tendons?
Outside of regularly strength training and then implementing loaded isometrics with the targeted tendon in a concentrically oriented position, you can supplement with gelatin which is found in the collagen protein supplements that are popular nowadays.
15 grams before a training session is the current recommendation although more research is being done in the specific amounts required for maximal results.