Top 5 Ways to Prevent Sports Injuries!

We all want to avoid taking time away from the sports and activities we love. There’s nothing worse than sitting on the sidelines and waiting to get back on the court, track or in the gym! While it is impossible to prevent all injuries, these Top 5 Ways to Prevent Sports Injuries will show you measures we can all take to reduce the chances significantly!

1. Listen to your body
Many injuries are caused by overuse rather than by a single incident, such as a twist or fall. Training errors are the most common cause of overuse injuries. These errors involve an increase in the intensity, duration or frequency of activity. Be sure to take adequate rest days from any particular sport or activity to allow proper recovery. The 10-Percent Rule is very helpful in determining how to progress your training. Ideally, you should not increase your training program or activity more than 10 percent per week.

2. Warm up and cool down
As muscles and joints warm up, their flexibility increases and your range of motion is greatly improved. Increasing your flexibility decreases the resistance in the tissue structures, reducing the likelihood of becoming injured by exceeding tissue extensibility during activity. After activity, stretching your major muscle groups will help to flush out waste products like lactic acid and leads to lasting gains in muscle flexibility.

3. Strengthening muscles
Muscle imbalance is one of the main causes of sports injury. Muscle imbalance results from weakness, poor flexibility and inadequate endurance in either the agonist or the antagonist. Be sure to focus on strengthening the muscle groups used in your sport with particular focus on those that come under the most stress. A good example would be tennis or badminton players strengthening the muscles around the shoulder joint to avoid overuse injury.

4. Correct equipment and clothing
Wearing unsuitable clothing and footwear can cause an array of sporting injuries such as serious back, knee and hip pain, Achilles tendonitis, shin splints and painful blisters. Each sport has clothing and footwear designed for its purpose. For example, running shoes are ideal for aerobic exercise because they combine flexibility, support and cushioning to absorb impact and lessen shock to the feet and knees. General training shoes may lack the supports needed to balance body weight or distribute stress ideally for your particular sport.

5. Use correct technique
Repetitive actions with poor technique can cause excessive pressure to be applied to particular joints or muscles which can contribute to an injury. Over time symptoms of injuries caused by bad technique will be exacerbated and could lead to a more serious condition. When starting a new sport or activity, get advice and training from a qualified fitness trainer or sports coach.

We all play sport because we love it, so with a little extra knowledge and effort applied to our training schedules, it is possible to keep sporting injuries to a minimum. Being injury free will also boost your performance immeasurably and only motivate you more to lead an active lifestyle, saving you time, energy and frustration as you go about achieving your optimum physical capacity and potential. Want to talk about your injuries and methods for preventing or overcoming them? Tell us below or @KeepfitKingdom !

Jonathan is a professional senior tennis coach and qualified SAQ (Speed Agility Quickness) trainer. As well as tennis, he enjoys swimming, running and strength conditioning and has a strong interest in how nutrition and mentality can help you achieve your health and fitness goals. Having struggled with injuries throughout his career, he now spends less time on court and more time on how to lead a healthier and happier life!
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