As Osteopaths we can see many different types of injuries around this time of year, some which can be avoided with some good advice whether you are a gym junkie, athlete, weekend warrior or just like to be out in the sunshine, so here are my top 10 tips to stay injury free this summer.

  1. Don’t Go Too Hard Too Fast

So, you have decided to use this warmer weather to your advantage and start getting back into your workout routine. That’s awesome! Your fitness journey is underway. But remember don’t go too hard to fast, in my opinion this is one of the worst things you can do. Going to hard too fast increases your risk for injury, whether it is running flat out, running a distance you haven’t done for a long time, or lifting the same amount of weight you did before after having time off. Make sure that you ease yourself into your training session and let your body adapt to the training routine.

  1. Don’t Over Train

If you are training for the first time or getting back to training, make sure you are giving your body enough time to recover. Overtraining can increase your risk of injuries such as tendinopathies or muscle tears. I would recommend at least one days break in between your training sessions if you are new to a particular type of activity to allow adequate time for your body to recover. If you are someone that has been training throughout the winter and feel that your body is already use to the routine. Then I would suggest doing a smaller run/ walk the day after a large run/walk that way you are still training, but not pushing the body to the limit.

  1. Poor Technique

As osteopath we are trained in identifying muscle weakness and will be able to tweak your technique to help you stay pain free and increase your performance. If your technique is off, your body will compensate whether it be your knees, back or shoulders. This does not just apply to weight lifting technique at the gym. It could be applied to poor gait or running form, improper golf or tennis technique, and even poor curling technique.

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

If you are unsure on how to use a bit of equipment in the gym or unsure whether you should walk up hills, but the best thing you can do is ask for help or ask questions. If at the gym and you are unsure about how to perform a specific movement or how to use a machine, ask a gym staff member. This will help you decrease your risk of injury and help improve your training.
As Osteopaths we are here to help you, educate and ultimately get you pain free. If you are having trouble walking up hills or something specific is causing you pain, let us know. Your goals are our goals to help you achieve!

  1. Jumping straight into it!

With the increasing trend in functional fitness classes and high intensity training gyms like F45. Plyometric exercises have become increasingly common for people to do. While I am a fan of F45, promoting a community feel with short bursts of continual intense exercise, it can lead to some problems. If you have never done plyometric exercises such as box jumps, this can cause a few problems. Plyometric training requires a combination of strength, power and control. It is important to gradually build up all of these factors. So take your time with your training and build yourself up to the jumps, this way you’ll avoid injury.

  1. Training Through an Injury

No pain, No gain. This is not always true. If you are getting intense sharp pain when you train, then this is your bodies way of telling you that something is wrong and that something is not 100%. You could potentially already have an injury or your body is about to get an injury. One of our Osteopaths would be happy to help out with your injury with a combination of motion testing, treatment, education on the injury and active rehabilitation.

  1. Forgetting to Warm Up

Warms up should be active and specific for the kind of training you are going to do. What does that mean? Well, warm up should be movement based in which primes your muscles for the activity you are going to be doing. Roughly about 10minutes should be spent on activating the area in which you are about to work on. One of the ways in which you might like to try is using a resistance band on the targeted area that you intend to use. Our Osteopaths can make specific warm up for you, and the type of training you are doing, so don’t be afraid to ask!

  1. Avoiding a Cool Down

After training the last thing we want to do, is hang around the gym or the running track to cool down. However, cooling down is important and part of our recovery phase. Sometimes our body can be stiff and sore after training so try using a foam roller or performing some stretches for the muscles that you have just used in your training session.

  1. Nutrition

While restricting calories is common with people that are trying to lose weight, it is important to fuel your body with nutritious foods and the right amount of food for your daily activities. If you are unsure about how much food or the type of foods you should be eating, I would suggest consulting with a Dietician or Naturopath.

  1. Lack of Sleep

Sleep helps our body heal from the activities we have done and also the injuries that we have. If you are not sleeping well or long enough then there is a chance that your muscles may not be recovering to their full capacity.


Written by Brendan Ashman