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The Risks Of CrossFit Injury

As CrossFit becomes more and more popular among exercise enthusiasts, many people are beginning to question the safety of the activity. Whether it is a CrossFit newbie or a seasoned veteran, everybody is beginning to wonder what their risk for injury could be.

As CrossFit becomes more and more popular among exercise enthusiasts, many people are beginning to question the safety of the activity. Whether it is a CrossFit newbie or a seasoned veteran, everybody is beginning to wonder what their risk for injury could be.

The Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine recently published an article that speaks directly about CrossFit injuries. The study was conducted based on surveys taken by CrossFit participants in Rochester, New York City, and Philadelphia. The survey asked a number of questions about CrossFit related injuries the participants had suffered over a 6-month period.

The Statistics

  • Only 19.4% of the survey participants suffered an injury in the 6-month period
  • Female participants had a significantly lower rate of injury than males
  • Injury locations included: shoulder, lower back, and knees
  • Many different age groups experienced injuries, so this factor had no significant impact
  • No difference was found based on length of the training sessions
  • There was no difference in injuries based on the amount of time a participant had been doing CrossFit
  • The level of coach supervision had a LARGE impact on injury rates.

CrossFit injury conclusions

Based on the statistics above, it seems that the number of CrossFit injuries is fairly low. It is important to note that these statistics are based on significant injuries only, so things like small aches and pains are not counted.

So, we can conclude that CrossFit is no more dangerous than other activities. Although there are many different types of exercises that a participant does during a CrossFit workout, it seems that this variation does not cause more injuries than other types of exercise. In fact, some may argue that the strength training of many different muscles in the body is actually highly beneficial for muscle strength and health.

However, more comparative research must be done before any solid conclusions can be made about how CrossFit injuries compare to injuries from other forms of exercise.

Ways to decrease your risk of CrossFit injury

Based on the statistics above, there is one obvious parameter that kept people from getting injured while doing CrossFit: having a coach present. It is clear that having a coach attentively watching, as you complete CrossFit workouts, will greatly reduce your risk of injury.

Coaches are knowledgeable about how to complete each workout they direct participants to do, and thus they can adjust your form, reps, or the amount of weight you are using if they feel it is too dangerous. Coaches can also modify workouts based on a participants’ injury history or current areas of pain. Because a coaches’ involvement is crucial in avoiding injury, you should consider the involvement of the resident coaches when choosing a CrossFit gym.

Also, never be afraid to ask for help when you are unsure about a CrossFit activity. The coaches are there to help you get the most out of your workout, and also to make sure you stay safe and injury free!

So if you are interested in the world of CrossFit, get out there and try it! Go slow at first and make sure to ask for the coaches’ help. Who knows, CrossFit may become your new favorite activity.

 

References: Weisenthal BM, Beck CA, Maloney MD, DeHaven KE, Giordano BD. Injury rate and patterns among CrossFit athletes. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine. 2014;2(4).


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