Use The 10% Rule To Ease Back Into Exercise After Injury

Use The 10% Rule To Ease Back Into Exercise After Injury

Trying to get back into exercise after an injury is tough. Your brain is telling you to go all in while your body tells you to hold off. To counter this, The Wall Street Journal suggests using the 10% rule.

Photo by Official US Navy Page

Essentially, you want to ease back into exercise by increasing your exercise amount in small, 10% blocks. Lyle Micheli, director of sports medicine at Boston Children's Hospital explains:

Dr. Micheli likes to invoke what he calls the 10% rule with patients coming back from injury. "If someone is coming back from a pulled hamstring and can run 20 minutes three times per week then it's safe to say they can probably run 22 minutes three times a week the following week," he says. "But many people say I can run around this pond once, so tomorrow I'm going to run around it twice. That's a 100% increase."

He says he takes the same approach to strength training. "If you're doing repetitive exercises like dumbbell flies and doing 10 repetitions of 10 pounds, then you want to increase the weight and the reps no more than 10% a week."

Essentially, give yourself a practice week where you taking it easy, then easy back into your old routine in 10% blocks so you don't injure yourself again.

After an Injury, Ease Into Exercise [The Wall Street Journal]


  • If you are over 40 then bring it back to 7% per week average over 6 to 9 weeks.
    Doing more than this in many cases leads to having problems as your body is using your immune system to recover from you injury or health problem.

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!