Weekend Warriors – Preventing Injuries!

Posted on March 5, 2024

Each weekend, anywhere on the globe, busy executives and overwhelmed mums can be found transforming themselves into weekend warriors.  In our quest to stay fit and active, we push ourselves to our limits in our chosen sports, however, is this really healthy, and are we making ourselves more susceptible to injury?

Here, Rhonda Scott, Senior Pilates Instructor at Flex, defines what makes a Weekend Warrior, and shares tips for preventing injury.

What is a Weekend Warrior?
A weekend warrior is usually defined as someone who participates in irregular strenuous physical activity, for example someone who plays competitive rugby, trail runs or cycles at the weekends but doesn’t train throughout the week.

What are the most common injuries experienced by WW’s?
The most common injuries tend to be in the neck, shoulder, lower back, hip, knee and ankle areas.  These problems generally occur when the muscles and surrounding tendons aren’t used regularly and are suddenly forced and jerked into vigorous movement during intense exercise, they become stressed and can get strained as the body tries to keep up, resulting in injury.

Are these injuries preventable?
Injuries can occur for a variety of reasons including lack of conditioning, lack of warm-up and stretching, lack of the strength and endurance needed to complete an activity, lack of flexibility, and biomechanical causes.

If the body has grown used to limited activity and is then asked to run, hike or jump for an extended period, at the very least it will feel very uncomfortable the following morning and the potential for injury is very high.

What can we do to prevent these injuries?
As we get older, increased responsibilities with work and family often mean that regular exercise takes a back seat.  However, increasing strength and stamina doesn’t require running 10k every evening, targeted activities such as regular Pilates sessions not only build muscle strength, but also improve balance, flexibility and breathing.

Tips to help reduce injury:
Listen to your body: Ignore the “no pain, no gain” theory, A niggle in the back, or hip pain is the body’s way of telling you that something is not right.  If you are experiencing this whilst doing your favorite sport find out why. It may be form, wrong muscle recruitment or an imbalance.

Plan a balanced routine: If you don’t have time to exercise regularly, split your workouts into a mid week session and another over the weekend.

Don’t do too much, too quickly: Try not to go from zero to hero!  A balanced body needs strength to be able to engage the right muscles for sport, work on building this first.

Stretch: Make sure you learn how to effectively warm up all the muscle groups involved in your sport.  Not only will it prevent injury, it will help them remain engaged for longer.   Remember to recover with stretching and hydration after exercise.

Old injuries: If you have an old sports injury, your doctor may have recommended that you do rehabilitation exercises in that area as part of your recovery.  Private Pilates sessions ensure individual attention and focused work on the muscles and tendons connected to your injury.

Pilates is a great compliment to any sport or activity that you love doing!

Written by Rhonda Scott

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