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Injury Prevention for High-Intensity Sports

Injury Prevention for High-Intensity Sports

Written By:
Expert Review By: Steven Cleark&

This Article Discusses The Following:

  • Common high-intensity sports
  • Common athlete injuries when engaging in high-intensity sports
  • How to avoid injuries during sports

High-intensity sports like hockey, soccer, rowing, or running miles need optimum cardiovascular and muscular health. While playing intense cardio sports, we exert a lot of pressure on the body and bear a significant risk of causing short-term and long-term injuries. However, not all athletes who engage in high-intensity workouts and sports experience a wide prevalence of injuries. 

Employing effective injury prevention strategies will allow you to enjoy your high-intensity sports in a risk-free environment. If you are about to level up your game and rule out all the negative  consequences, read this article discussing common sports injuries and effective injury prevention strategies in high-intensity sports.

Understanding High-Intensity Sports

As the name suggests, high-intensity sports are any sports with a high demand for physical exertion by athletes. Athletes engaging in high-intensity sports must exert their bodies consistently for a sustained period, depending on the kind of sport it is. Often, such sports have a high demand for explosiveness and energy. 

Common High-intensity Sports

Some examples of high-intensity sports include:

  • Tabata training
  • Heels walking
  • Swimming
  • Basketball
  • Plyometric exercises
  • Soccer
  • American football
  • Rock climbing

Common Sports Injuries

Ordinarily, different kinds of high-intensity sports attract different kinds of injuries, depending on the body part actively involved in the sport.

Knee Injury

Different kinds of knee injuries occur in sports such as American football, soccer, rugby, and some plyometric exercises. These injuries include

  • Tear of the anterior cruciate(ACL) and medial collateral ligaments(MCL)
  • Meniscus tear
  • Knee sprains
  • Patellar Dislocation

Leg Injury

Leg injuries happen when your hips, shin, or thigh bones or muscles are injured. Leg injuries  include a variety of injuries, such as:

  • Fractures
  • Shin splits
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • IT band syndrome

These injuries are common in people who play sports that involve a lot of running, jumping, and tackling, such as:

  • Rugby
  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Track and marathon running

Ankle Injury

Whenever you exert a lot of stress on your ankles, you stand the risk of sustaining ankle injuries such as:

  • Sprained ankle
  • Ankle fractures
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture

Other Common Injuries

Other Common Injuries related to high-intensity sports include:

  • Elbow injury
  • Shoulder injury
  • Joint dislocation
  • Groin injuries

Factors That Affect Injury Risk And Sports Performance

The likelihood of getting an injury when engaging in high-intensity sports is affected by physical, training, psychological, and environmental factors

Physical Factors

Physical factors relate to the general physique of the athlete, including their body composition, flexibility, resilience and endurance, and strength. Athletes in poor form are more likely to get an injury in their first few days after resuming training than athletes in proper body fitness.

Training Factors

The intensity of a training regimen can also increase the likelihood of getting an injury. Poor training routines, which exert excessive pressure and strain on the joints and ligaments, can increase the propensity and chances of getting an injury.

Psychological Factors

To participate in sports, you must strike a balance between your psychological factors and your physical factors. Being in a poor mental state, losing focus and concentration, and having no confidence when engaging in a sport can increase the chances of getting an injury.

Environmental Factors

Other external factors, such as the equipment you use, the weather of the day, and the terrain of the field or track you are playing a sport, can affect your chances of getting an injury. You do not perform the training and sports as expected when you use poor equipment. This can increase the chances of you getting an injury. Additionally, poor weather conditions, such as rainfall or snow, can reduce visibility and stability on the ground, leading to high chances of injury.

Injury Prevention Strategies

Now that you have understood the different types of injuries, what causes injuries in sports, and factors that can affect your injury's likelihood and intensity, it is time to discuss the best strategies to prevent your injuries from recurring or occurring in the first place.


Always engage in warm-up sessions before participating in active and high-intensity sports. Warming up loosens the joints, increases blood flow to the muscles and stretches out your ligaments and joints to make them ready to engage in a high-intensity workout. If you skip your warmup session, you will not be in optimum condition to engage in high-intensity sports.

Proper Use of Equipment

As noted above, sporting equipment can affect your chances of getting an injury. Before using new equipment in the gym or when playing a sport, ensure that you know every specific detail about using the equipment. This will help you reduce the chances of getting an injury associated with poor equipment usage. If you are unsure about anything, always consult your trainer or coach, who will be in a better position to guide you on using the equipment.

Rest and Recovery

The body can engage itself in only so much exercise. If you exceed your body's limits, you increase the chances of getting an injury. Always take regular breaks from rigorous and high-intensity sports to allow your body to recover and regenerate itself.

Nutrition Strategies

The kind of food you eat can help you avoid injuries. While a balanced diet is desirable, you should ensure that your diet is rich in proteins for their attributes in enhancing recovery, especially on muscular tissues.

Proper Form and Technique Training 

Proper form, technique, and resilience when performing different workouts and playing high-intensity sports allow you to avoid injury. Training and conditioning your body through intense workouts is important to develop proper form and technique. Some good workout routines to try to include plyometric exercises for explosiveness in muscles.

Factors To Consider When Returning To Play After Injuries

Before getting back to the field, ensure that you can answer all the following questions in the affirmative:

  • Have you received authorization from your doctor?
  • Do you feel that pain and swelling have reduced?
  • Have you completed all the medical and rehabilitation protocols?


For a professional sportsperson, injuries are equivalent to a delay in their career and could adversely affect their form. If you are an athlete engaged in high-intensity sports, avoid regular injuries by following the above-mentioned tips and also having protein supplements. Remember to also take care of your body by waiting for full recovery before returning to the field if you get injured.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the most common sports injuries in high-intensity sports?

    The most common injuries in high-intensity sports include ankle, leg, tendon pulls, and joint injuries.

  • How can rest and recovery help prevent sports injuries in high-intensity sports?

    Rest and recovery reduce the amount of strain you put on your body. This reduces the chances of you getting an injury as your body regularly regenerates and restores itself to optimum condition through rest.

  • What are some warm-up techniques for injury prevention in high-intensity sports?

    The best warmup techniques warm up all sections of your body, including the muscles, joints, and cardiovascular system. These include jogs, stretches, and simple jumping jacks.

  • What common mistakes do people make in injury prevention training for high-intensity sports?

    Mistakes people make in injury prevention training for high-intensity sports include failure to follow the instructions of a medical practitioner, using equipment poorly, and refusing to rest and recover after high-intensity workouts.

  • What should I do if I get injured during a high-intensity sports activity?

    The first thing you should do if you get injured in a high-intensity sports activity is reach out to your medical practitioner for an evaluation and prognosis. Next, follow their instructions regarding physiotherapy and recovery. Lastly, ensure that you completely recover before returning to the field.

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