How to Prevent Repetitive Strain Injuries | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

How to Prevent Repetitive Strain Injuries

April 10, 2013 | Joe Giandonato

Must See Sports Injuries Videos

Doing the same thing over and over again can lead to overuse injuries. That's why pitchers and tennis players often experience shoulder and elbow problems (Learn about Tommy John injuries.). You might not be a pitcher or tennis player, but you still have to beware of overuse in your sport and training program.

A repetitive strain injury (RSI) is classified as a painful and restricting injury to the musculoskeletal system. Common causes include performing the same exercise too frequently and repeatedly practicing the same skill, such as throwing or swinging. (Learn how to prevent common muscle strains.) Even sitting down all day can lead to a repetitive strain injury. The particular movements themselves may not be of concern; but repetitive strain injuries become an issue when athletes fail to use proper technique or allow insufficient time for recovery.

Preventing Repetitive Strain Injuries

Fortunately, repetitive strain injuries are completely preventable. You only need to slightly modify your daily routine.

  • Workouts calling for high volume and loads of about 70% of your max should only be done three times per week. Allow 48 hours of recovery between workouts.
  • Workouts calling for lower volume and loads greater than 90% of your max should only be done twice per week. Allow 72 hours of recovery between workouts.
  • Always use correct form on all exercises, even when you are lifting a lighter weight.
  • Always use proper technique when executing skills.
  • If you have a skill that is performed in one direction, like swinging a bat, take the time to perform it on your non-dominant side to equalize strength on both sides of your body.
  • Vary your workouts by changing the type of exercise performed, intensity, volume or distance.
  • Adhere to a pitch count, serve count or limit on your skills, especially during practice. The goal should always be to improve your skill without causing fatigue.
  • Always perform a dynamic warm-up before workouts, practices and games. Afterwards, go through a cooldown routine and ice any heavily worked joints.
  • Avoid long periods of cold or heat exposure, and be sure to stay hydrated. Extreme temperatures and dehydration may cause or exacerbate repetitive strain injuries.
  • If you sit for long periods of time, stand up and stretch occasionally to prevent tightness.
Joe Giandonato
- Joe Giandonato, MS, CSCS, is the head strength and conditioning coach at Germantown Academy in Fort Washington, Pa. He has authored numerous articles on a...
Joe Giandonato
- Joe Giandonato, MS, CSCS, is the head strength and conditioning coach at Germantown Academy in Fort Washington, Pa. He has authored numerous articles on a...
Must See
Michael Jordan: Mind of a Champion
Views: 542,897
Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,305,266
Why NFL Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson Counts His Blessings
Views: 1,919,699

Featured Videos

Quest for the Ring: Duke University Views: 217,694
Eastbay: It Begins Now Views: 70,986
Path to the Pros 2015: Training Days Views: 118,412
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Tips for Working Out With a Hand or Arm Injury

Going into the gym is tough, and it is even more difficult to mentally muster up the strength to do so if you have an arm injury or hand injury. So if...

6 Ways to Prevent Common Sports Injuries

Evan Gattis's Protection-Enhanced Catcher's Helmet

Coaches: Prevent Injuries With the Recovery Management Tool

How to Keep Your Feet Healthy On and Off the Field

Connective Tissue: The Key to Preventing ACL Injuries

5 Tips to Intelligently Train Through Lower Back Pain

How to Train With Running Blisters

4 Strategies to Prevent Tommy John Surgery

Basketball Players: Prevent Ankle Sprains With These 3 Exercises

3 Causes of Recurring Hamstring Injuries

What You Need to Know About Tiger Woods' Back Injury

Quarterbacks: 4 Tips to Keep Your Throwing Shoulder Healthy

Predicting the Impact of DeMarco Murray's Hand Injury

Achilles Tendon Ruptures: Prevention and Recovery

Bulletproof Your Body with 5 Easy Injury Prevention Exercises

How to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Hamstring-Focused Workout

Pectoral Tendon Ruptures and Injury Prevention

Outsmart Injury With These 4 Predictive Tests

3 Ways to Prevent the Most Common Hockey Injury

Eliminate Elbow Pain with These 3 Methods

5 Exercises to Prevent ACL Tears

Why Strengthening This Muscle May Fix Knee Pain

Impressive Advances in ACL Rehab

How to Bench Press With a Shoulder Injury

7 Ways to Fix Back Pain

The Future of Sports Injury Rehabilitation

5 Bodyweight Exercises to Prevent Baseball Injuries

2 Ways to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt

8 of the Most Ridiculous Off-Field Athlete Injuries of All Time

The 8 Most Dangerous Exercises for Your Shoulders

6 Steps for Recovering From a Season-Ending Injury

6 Simple Tips to Prevent Knee Injuries

The Secret Weapon Powering Stephen Curry's Resurgence

4 Sports Massage Techniques to Relieve Tight Muscles

Avoid Low-Back Pain With These 7 In-Season Exercises

How to Prevent Injuries With 3 Yoga Poses

5 Things You Can Do to Prevent Muscle Injuries

How to Prevent Baseball Injuries During the Off-Season

10 Ways to Fix Back Pain

How to Treat Piriformis Syndrome