Sometimes weekend warriors come with negative connotations. Many believe weekend warriors are injury prone people or people who do not know what they are doing to get exercise. However, these connotations are not true. Is being a weekend warrior good or bad for you? The quick answer is being a weekend warrior can be an excellent way to get your exercise and stay active during a busy week or busy lifestyle. However, there are some Do’s and Don’ts for weekend warriors and some tips and advice they should follow.
Weekend Warriors love to play beach volleyball
Weekend Warriors Do's and Don'ts
Do's for Weekend Warriors
- Warm Up - Warming up before your weekend activity is essential for decreasing risk of injury if you are a weekend warrior.
- Tips for Warming up:
- General Full Body Stretching - Performing general full body stretching makes sure the entire body is loose and ready to go. General stretching can can consist of stretching the hamstrings, calves, hip adductors, back musculature or chest musculature. General stretching typically takes 3 to 5 minutes in total.
- Specific Stretching - Specific stretching focuses on body parts that are going to take most of the demand during your activity or sport. With specific stretching extra time should be spent stretching these specific areas 3 to 5 minutes. Examples of specific stretching include a baseball player performing additional shoulder stretching or a runner performing additional calve stretching.
- Gentle Active Activity - Gentle active activity includes things such as a light jog, bike ride, or light throwing. Gentle active activity is important after stretching to warm up the entire body. Gentle active activity prepares the body for movement. It should be performed for approximately 5 minutes.
- Run Through Sport Specific Activity - It is important to prepare the body for the specific activity you are about to perform. For baseball one may throw and catch. For basketball one may shoot, dribble, or perform cone drills, This light run through only needs to last 3 to 5 minutes.
- Cool Down - As important as a warmup is, a cool down routine is equally as important.
- A cool down helps the body properly recover from your weekend activity.
- Tips for Cooling Down:
- Walking or cycling lightly until your heartrate lowers to a comfortable level.
- Stretching for 3 to 5 minutes to maintain flexibility and decrease post activity cramping.
Don’ts for Weekend Warriors
- Don't participate in competitive events without warming up or practicing. It can lead to a high probability of injury and lead to likelihood of not enjoying your activity or sport
- Giving full effort when you have not participated in the activity for at least over 2 weeks as this can also lead to injury
- Avoiding activities or effort levels that cause chest pain, dizziness, pressure in arm/chest/jaw/back due to these symptoms indicate a medical emergency which requires professional help.
Tips and Physical Therapy for Weekend Warriors
- Start slow, as in do not just show up and play. Take time to stretch, take time to run through some easy drills to help warm up the muscles and decrease risk of injury.
- If you never participated in the activity look for introductory classes or a group that is at a low competitive level to ease into the activity and get the body used to those movements.
- Pay attention to how you are feeling, if you are experiencing chest pain, dizziness, pressure in arm/chest/jaw/back stop the activity immediately. If these symptoms don’t resolve shortly after stopping the activity, please seek immediate medical attention.
- After your event or activity is done for the day, don’t forget to cool down by walking or cycling lightly until your heart rate goes down. Then stretch for 3 to 5 minutes to help maintain flexibility and avoid cramping
- If you experience a nagging injury during your weekend outing, see a physical therapist to help resolve the nagging injury, so you can enjoy your activity pain free and without compensation.
- If you experience a major injury, make sure you seek appropriate medical attention and then see a physical therapist when appropriate to help you return to your activity fully.
- To schedule physical therapy at one of the 12 JOI Rehab Centers, please call 904-858-7045.
JOI Can Help Weekend Warriors
Our website medical library has several articles on all of the injuries a weekend warrior may experience. Please go to JOI Library or JOI Trending.
Are you a weekend warrior who is having pain with your activity or has sustained an injury? If so, JOI can help! To schedule an appointment with one of our experienced Orthopedic Physicians call 904-JOI-2000 or click the button below!
By: Dominic Worsowicz, PT, DPT