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Six Tips for Preventing Summer Exercise Injuries

person holding their back

Physios warn of an increase in patients seeking treatment for exercise-related injuries during the summer months. Ten Health & Fitness, a boutique fitness provider and London’s leading clinical massage and physiotherapy brand expects to see around 2,500 individual physio clients over the summer months.

Ten’s experts are warning Brits to consider the common injuries associated with taking up a new sport, and how to help your body combat them.

Cheyne Voss, Head of Physio at Ten Health & Fitness says; “Tennis elbow, sore knees, hip impingement; these are all the kind of sports problems our clients face when they up-the-ante in the summer.

We fully support people being active when they’re inspired by incredible sporting achievements like Wimbledon or The Cricket World Cup, but it’s important to teach people how prehab and rehab training will help them stay on form.

Many people do not account for the appropriate build-up to prepare their bodies for increased effort and load, and an ‘all or nothing’ approach to exercise is always going to up the injury risk quite significantly.” 

To stay off the sidelines this year, from prevention to cure, Cheyne Voss, Director of Physio at Ten Health & Fitness gives the essential advice to keep you fit, active and sporting all summer long.

1. Sprained Ankle

Cheyne says; “During and immediately after Wimbledon, we see a lot of ‘Armchair Nadal’s’. After the winter’s inactivity, they dust off their racquets, head out onto their local court – only to hobble off a few minutes later with a rolled ankle.

Angle sprains therefore are one of the most common sports-related injuries and most of the time, can be helped without the need for physiotherapy.”

Cheyne recommends regular stability work – something most people neglect in their workouts – and strengthening the foot and lower leg muscles.

Balance training, such as standing on one foot with your eyes closed on either a Bosu ball or wobble boards is also essential for prevention. 

2. Achilles pain or tendinopathy (formally known as tendonitis)

Cheyne says; “Perhaps the most common summer holiday injury, we find when people start running on really soft surfaces, such as on sand in bare feet, the increase in force through the tendon is a real problem.”

If you’re not already a regular runner, Cheyne recommends avoiding running (even walking) on very soft sand, especially if there is a camber on the beach. However, doing specific calf raises (focusing on lowering slowly) and static holds with a slight bend in the knee, can also help build the muscles.

3. Runners knee or Sore side of knee

Cheyne says; “When the sun is shining, many people feel the urge to go jogging, but many people do not have good running form or adequate running shoes.

The pain from runners’ knee is more often felt after running, especially when walking slowly, and especially downstairs. Then when returning to running after this, the pain will come and go many times over.”

Cheyne recommends improving running technique by slowly and gradually increasing cadence, investing in the correct footwear and regular foam rolling the outside of your hip.

Finally, strengthening the gluteal muscles is also important.  The best specific gluteal exercises are the clams (with a band around your knees), side lying leg lifts, squats with a band, crab walks and then progressing to a modified side wall squat.

4. Hip Impingement

Cheyne says; “Twisting sports with a stop-start acceleration component such as Tennis can cause hip impingement.

This is when poor gluteal control of your pelvis causes your hips don’t remain level (one side drops, and also deviates inwards and crosses over), therefore impinging (crushing) the inside of your hip joint and creating pain (felt most commonly in your groin) If left untreated, this can lead to a cartilage tear of the hip.”

Cheyne recommends doing gluteal strengthening through squat training but also incorporating as much Pilates into your exercise regime as possible.

Pilates is a low-impact workout which focuses on form and control and therefore works for prehab and rehab purposes. Ten Health & Fitness offers both reformer and mat-based Pilates, ideal for helping both novices and assured exercisers in equal measure.

5. Sore Back

Cheyne says; “We all want to look our best in the summer, so many people hit the gym hard by lifting weights they are not ready for.

Not just this but lifting objects from a lowered height, anything from dumbbells at the gym to loading luggage onto a trolley at the airport, can aggravate the spine. Once injured, this impacts on almost every aspect of life and sport until resolved”

Cheyne recommends increasing core stability work and doing lots of counteracting stretching, such as half a push-up with a back extension – such as the cobra position in yoga. Ten Health & Fitness’s specialist TenStretch and Restorative Yoga classes are an ideal antidote to this common injury.

6. Neck Pain

Cheyne says; “Usually neck pain is caused by too many sedentary postures (such as slouching and hunching over a desk. But in exercise, a common cause can be cycling for long periods of time.”

Cheyne recommends neck stretches to reverse the slouch. Look straight ahead and tuck your chin in while still looking straight ahead – thus straightening out your neck. Do this when on the bike or sitting at your desk to help. After exercise, foam rolling can be great to help open out the back.

If you’re looking to increase your fitness during the summer and the seasons following it, check in with the experts at Ten Health & Fitness for bespoke workout classes, fitness plans and expert advice on how to work out efficiently and safely.

Ten Health & Fitness is a boutique fitness studio with eight locations across London. Its ninth studio, and its first clinical and physio-focused studio, opened on Tottenham Court Road in August 2009.

Ten have also recently opened a new studio in King’s Cross which a specialist focus on Women’s Health Physiotherapy.

With Summer just around the corner promising some ideal weather for running, cycling and other keep-fit activities, now is a great time to drop into a Ten clinic and work on some pre-habilitative physio to help prevent exercise-related injuries as well as treating symptoms.’

For more information about the clinical and physio offering at Ten, visit