Podcast #109: Tendon Development, Pain, and Rupture with Greg Hawthorne


“There are certain players where they might not max jump only two times a week because they’re shooters. They’re not getting max effort jumps, they’re not getting sprints.”

“Which knee has the ability to jump high? That mush knee isn’t going anywhere, whereas the other knee, definitely.”

“Certain knees look a specific way… this dude looks like he could jump, this person looks like they’re gonna struggle.”

“These guys that have a slightly larger tibial tuberosity also tend to be pretty explosive in general.”

Guys who can jump: “It’s a pronounced patellar tendon.”

“Skinny guys who are beans but they still have that thick tendon… that tendon that looks really special.”

“I 100% believe there are certain people that are not built to jump high. It doesn’t mean they can’t be good at sport, they just have to play a different game.”

“Because I work with younger people, I have an opportunity to impact the growth of the tendon if we’re doing the right things (get them moving and jumping).”

“A 13 year old, I can put him through a monster workout volume-wise and I’ll have a kid that’s 17 and he’ll get smoked… whereas for the 13 year old, I can probably do that everyday.”

Sever’s Disease: “It’s always the really stiff kids, higher arch, hips don’t move.”

Achilles tendon pain: You need to address “stress/load and the biomechanical aspect… because your foot has so many movings parts to it… it’s way more technical [than patellar]… put it in a better position and stress it as well.”

“For me to get the inside of the foot down, that’s a lot of force a lot faster, I’m not relying on much of the stretch-reflex cycle, I’m driving it more into the bony aspects of the body… it takes the Achilles a little bit out of it.”

“Elite high jumpers, their calcaneus are super thick.”

High jump: “Let’s get more bone involved, the reverb of the bone, to shock me back up to the sky.”

“As long as your hamstrings can sense when it’s getting stretched, you’re gonna have a higher likelihood of protecting the Achilles.”

Tight guys: “Odds are, those guy can pull their legs up to the sky, but everything else is tight, so now they trained their hamstrings to not have a protective muscle spindle mechanism.”

“I look at biarticupar joints in a way where if one side is shorter, the other side is gonna be longer… hip extension before knee extension.”

“Over time, as we lose fluid, now we lose this buffer zone [expansion].”

“Fast animals on land don’t have a long shelf-life.”

Drying up tendons with age: “The gravity itself slowly wears down the bone, the bone changes the fluid flow into the joints, the joints get closer together, they don’t move as well, the tendons are an after effect of that.”

“If I adjust the foot posture, it’s gonna adjust the foot pliability of the Achilles.”

Achilles vs. patellar: “There’s so many more ways to move an ankle than there is to move a knee.”

Achilles getting more compliant post-rupture, patellar getting more stiffer post-rupture: “I feel like the body is meant to lean into its strengths in emergency situations.”

Thorne Training Website: https://thornetrainingandtherapy.com

Thorne Training Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thornetrainingandtherapy/?hl=en