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Decreasing the Risk of Injuries for Weekend Warriors

by Tara Hackney, PT, DPT, OCS, KTTPLeave a Comment

Who are the “Weekend Warriors?” Many people find themselves with little time during the week due to work, family, kids and the day-to-day grind. Therefore, workouts fall to the weekend days to cram in a full week of physical activity into two days.

Running, recreational sports, long bike rides, hiking, intense yard work are just a few of the activities these weekend warriors turn to when they have time. However, intense bouts of exercise between weeks of inactivity can lead to injury. Weekend warriors also tend to be former athletes who expect their bodies to recover as they did when they were younger.

Types of Injuries the Weekend Warrior May Face

  • Muscle strains, such as hamstring injuries
  • Ligament sprains, such as ankle sprains
  • Tendinitis, including Achilles or patellar (knee) tendinitis
  • Shin splints
  • Shoulder injuries, specifically rotator cuff injuries
  • Low back pain

Tips to Decrease Risk of Injury for the Weekend Warrior

A main cause for injury for the weekend warrior is the inactivity between bouts of intense exercise. Adding in several other workouts during the week is ideal; these workouts do not need to be as vigorous, but will help muscles adapt to the demands placed on them on the weekends.

  • Build up activity slowly.
    • Especially as the start of the summer season is here, gradually increasing the intensity and length of workouts is key to decrease injury risk. Starting out with shorter duration of activity or less intense workouts can help decrease the risk of injury.
  • Warm up
    • Perform an easy warm up before jumping right into intense activity. A warm up walk before a run or a dynamic warm up moving joints through the range needed for the activity can help decrease the chance of injury.
  • Stretch
    • A dynamic stretch of the muscles that will be used during the activity is recommended prior to workouts, this can include core twists, leg kicks or shoulder circles. The dynamic stretching should use common movements that are a part of the later workout activity, such as shoulder circles prior to throwing or lunges prior to running sports.
    • Remember to stretch after working out to help decrease soreness. Post workout stretches are commonly static, meaning they are held in one positon for 30-60 seconds.
  • Use proper technique and equipment
    • Make sure equipment is in good condition. Proper fit and good quality can make the difference in injury risk.
    • New shoes and proper shoes for each activity and each season are recommended to decrease risk of foot pain or ankle sprain.
  • Don’t push through pain
    • Muscle soreness is normal after an intense workout, but sharp pain during a workout is not normal and can be a sign that injury is occurring.

If you feel that you have suffered an injury or have lingering aches and pains from your weekend warrior activities, please request an appointment at your closest Athletico location.

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The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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About the Author:
Tara Hackney, a physical therapist in Marion, IA, enjoys working with all patient types, especially gymnasts, cheerleaders, and dancers. She is the prominent blogger for Athletico's Gymnastic/Cheer Program. With an orthopedic specialization and training in dry needling and Graston technique, Tara hopes to answer your questions about injuries and injury prevention in an easy-to-understand manner. She hopes to ease fears surrounding pain and injuries, address concerns about recovery, and provide tips to prevent injury. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her dog, reading, and watching her nephews play sports.

Read more health resources related to these topics:

Exerciseexercise injuriesinjury preventionweekend warrior

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