Injury Prevention Program for Gamers | Wrist, Shoulder, Neck & More!

Hello everyone!

Welcome to one of the first esports injuey conditioning programs ever created. This is something I have utilized with the teams I have worked with since beginning in esports over 5 years ago. It is a program I have continually iterated on as I”ve been exposed to more work with teams, players and more importantly pain patterns within gaming. 

A short while ago I released a home workout program which provides full body conditioning along with a single day targeting some common gaming physical impairments (mobility, endurance, etc.). The key difference with this program is that each day is focused on addressing key physical skills and impairments associated with gaming split into three major days.

  1. Upper Body
  2. Lower Body
  3. Global Mobility & Essentials

This article is meant to provide an overview of the program, everything you need to know about the sets, reps, pace, tempo, recovery and other details associated with the program.The only piece of equipment you will need will be resistance or therabands: 
Theraband –  https://amzn.to/2Uj0kgL

Esports / Gaming Conditioning Program Structure

The program is structured into three major days of workouts: Upper, Lower, Global Mobility. Each of the days are set although the end of the global mobility day can vary in nature as you can look to include other esports-specific exercises for that day. EVERY EXERCISE DAY WILL HAVE THE FOLLOWING

  1. TRAINING ROUTINE
  2. MOBILITY COOLDOWN

So let’s get into exploring each day

INJURY PREVENTION PROGRAM FOR GAMERS

Upper Body Day: Esports Conditioning Program

Expected Time for Completion: 30-35 Minutes
Expected Calories Burnt: 200-220 Calories

The upper body day is focused on three key movement pillars necessary for upper body health as a gamer

  1. Scapular Stability & Control
  2. Humeral Rotation Control
  3. Deep Neck Flexor Activation, Elongation and Control

With these upper body movement pillars in mind, the training routine includes exercises which focus on development for each pillar. Scapular stability exercises help us to control the position of our “shoulder blade” as it rests on our mid-back. It is crucial as it dictates the position and length of muscles along the rest of the arm consequently impacting time to fatigue and risk of injury at the wrist & shoulder. Humeral rotation control involves exercises primarily targeting the rotator cuff which is important for shoulder and large mouse movement when we game. Poor control of both the shoulder blade and rotator cuff often lead to neck & shoulder issues with extended gaming. This leads directly to the importance of neck elongation and deep neck exercises which help us maintain proper posture but also prevent neck discomfort & headaches. 

Upper Body Programming: Please perform at your own pace, the goal is to finish the sets & reps even if you need to rest between sets. The exercises are not meant to be difficult but it is important to perform them CORRECTLY as there is a common phrase I tell my athletes and patients: “you get what you train”

If you perform an exercise incorrectly, you will train your coordination and movement pattern to activate in the same way. If you have any questions about these exercises, please let me know!

Upper Body ProgrammingCool Down
Scapular Control
1. Push-Up+
2. Prone I’s
3. Blast-Off Pushups
Rotation Control
4. Isometric ER with Band
5. Arm Swing with Theraband
5. Seal Jacks
Neck Control
6. Wall Chin Tucks
7. Quadruped Chin Tucks
8. Bear Position Taps
1. Spine Rotation Series
2. Push-Up to Downward Dog
3. Diaphragmatic Breathing

Lower Body Day: Esports Conditioning Program

Expected Time for Completion: 20-25 Minutes
Expected Calories Burnt: 180-200 Calories

The lower body day is focused on three key movement pillars necessary for lower body health as a gamer

  1. Arch Support, MTP Control
  2. Femoral Rotation & Hip Stability Control
  3. Core Activation and Control

While arch support & foot control may not seem directly relevant to gamers is a crucial aspect of lower body movement. If we do not have the stability at the contact point between the foot and the ground it often increases the risk of knee and ankle pain when we do participate in higher level and more dynamic activities. Femoral rotation and hip stability have the same level of importance and with the strengthening of these muscles can also help with lower back pain. Lastly core activation and control provide a stable base not only for the lower body but also the upper body for proper control of our limbs. Strengthening of our core is also important for posture & prevention of low back pain. 

Lower Day Programming: Please perform at your own pace, the goal is to finish the sets & reps even if you need to rest between sets.

Lower Body ProgrammingCool Down
Arch & Foot Control
1. Short Foot and Ab Brace
2. Heel Raises
3. Mountain Climbers
Hip Stability & Control
4. Clams with Band
5. Step Outs
6. Pop Squats
Core Activation
7. Prone Extension
8. Elbow Plank
9. Plank ins and Outs
1. Rockback to Upward Dog
2. Pidgeon to Psoas Stretch
3. Floor to Ceiling 

Global Mobility & Essentials

As mentioned above the final day is focused on GLOBAL mobility – meaning exercises ensuring we have the appropriate mobility from head to toe allowing for the control we develop with days 1 and 2 to be within the full-range of motion available to us across the key joints of our body. A large component of this day will be to address spinal mobility as gamers tend to sit for extended periods of time without getting up. A large focus for most gamers is to stretch their shoulders and wrists – which no doubt is extremely important but we tend to forget how much we are repeatedly loading our spinal column as we sit, holding our bodies up against gravity. As a result the three major focuses for this routine will include

  1. Spinal Mobility & Misc
  2. Focused Spinal & Hip
  3. Core Activation & Control 

Additionally it will feature exercises at the end to strengthen the gaming essentials supporting the muscles we utilize most frequently when we are sitting & performing repeated mouse/keyboard movement. 

  1. Forearm / Hand Musculature
  2. Rotator Cuff Musculature
Warm-UpGlobal MobilityEsports Endurance
1. Cross-Arm Jacks
2. Floor to Ceiling Reaching
3. Arm Rotations
4. Thumb to Pinky Angels
5. Wrist Open/Closes
Spinal & Misc
1. First Toe Stretch
2. Single Groin Stretch
3. Pigeon with ER
4. Butterfly Stretch 
5. Wide Long Sit Reach & Upright
6. Diaphragmatic Breathing
7. Alternate Leg Raises
8. Open Books
9. Scorpions
Focused Spinal & Hip 
1. Turkish Getup Position 1
2. Turkish Getup Position 2
3. Psoas Stretch & Extension Reach
Core Activation & Control
1. Quad Rock Back
2. Bear Position Hold
3. Bear Position Lift
4. Breaker Reaches
5. Full Bridge
6. Modified Plank Reach
1. Theraband External Rotation
2. TB Wrist Extension/Flexion 
3. TB Tree Hugs with Elevation

How to get started

Here is your simple guide on how to approach utilizing this workout program. Depending on whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced with fitness you can utilize this program in a variety of ways. I would say for most advanced or intermediate fitness individuals – this is a great SUPPLEMENTARY PROGRAM you can add to your existing program to address general mobility and full-body motor coordination. Because the exercises focuses primarily on control of specific movement pillars – it will supplement any regular lifting or exercise program well. So ultimately this description is for the beginner to intermediate who is not regularly exercising. Here is an 8-week approach for use of the program.

WeekHow many times per week?Important Esports ConditioningKey Preventative Stretching
12x, 1 day rest in between each dayChoose one of the following to perform 1x during REST or OFF Day

2 Rounds of Wrist Routine

2 Rounds of Thumb Protection Routine

Repeat of Esports Endurance from Day 3
6-Minute Post Stretch Routine (after your session)

Take stretches to perform during loading screens, after games, etc.
22x, 1 day rest in between each day Choose one of the three esports conditioning routines from W1 to perform 1x during REST or OFF Day 6-Minute Post Stretch Routine (after your session)

Take stretches to perform during loading screens, after games, etc.
33x, 1 day rest in between each day Choose one of the three esports conditioning routines from W1 to perform 2x during REST or OFF Day 6-Minute Post Stretch Routine (after your session)

Take stretches to perform during loading screens, after games, etc.
4 3x, 1 day rest in between each day Choose one of the three esports conditioning routines from W1 to perform 2x during REST or OFF Day 6-Minute Post Stretch Routine (after your session)

Take stretches to perform during loading screens, after games, etc.
5 3x, 1 day rest in between each day Choose one of the three esports conditioning routines from W1 to perform 2x during REST or OFF Day 6-Minute Post Stretch Routine (after your session)

Take stretches to perform during loading screens, after games, etc.
6 3x, 1 day rest in between each day Choose one of the three esports conditioning routines from W1 to perform 2x during REST or OFF Day 6-Minute Post Stretch Routine (after your session)

Take stretches to perform during loading screens, after games, etc.
7 4x, program how you’d like for it to be split Choose one of the three esports conditioning routines from W1 to perform 3x during REST or OFF Day 6-Minute Post Stretch Routine (after your session)

Take stretches to perform during loading screens, after games, etc.
8 4x, program how you’d like for it to be split Choose one of the three esports conditioning routines from W1 to perform 3x during REST or OFF Day 6-Minute Post Stretch Routine (after your session)

Take stretches to perform during loading screens, after games, etc.

That’s basically it my friends. Hope you guys find this program helpful! Please let us know how you feel before and after completing this program and if it was helpful for you please share our patreon or the preview video with anyone you think it will help! We want to continue to help our community and appreciate any support during this time.

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1 Comment
  • Tenlaael
    Posted at 20:50h, 22 April

    Looks great!

    Just to clarify, an example week one would look like:
    Monday: Upper Body Program
    Tuesday: REST & Wrist Warrior
    Wednesday: Lower Body Program
    Thursday: REST & Wrist Warrior
    Friday->Sunday: REST/OFF?

    Or am I misinterpreting the planner?

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