CrossFit Injuries – Is It Safe? 2016-11-14T11:06:02+00:00

CrossFit injuries – is CrossFit safe?

By Shain Rossi, Certified Personal Trainer

If you’ve looked into CrossFit, you’ve probably come across stories and reports of CrossFit injuries – but should you be concerned? CrossFit has become increasingly popular over the last several years. The phenomenon has surged to include over 11,000 affiliates globally. In fact, CrossFit competitions and challenges are popping up everywhere. It’s not just hardcore bodybuilders and millennials who find CrossFit appealing. Many 40- and 50-somethings are squatting and jumping their way through CrossFit classes. But is CrossFit a great way to get in shape or is it a ticket to injury? The answer is, the jury is still out.

Do CrossFit injuries contribute to a high dropout rate?

crossfit injuries - rancho palos verdes personal trainerThe Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research published a study conducted by Ohio State University that indicated injury or overuse caused about 16% of CrossFit study participates to drop out of CrossFit classes. But since the 2013 study was published, the validity and accuracy of the research have come into question, and some of the findings have been corrected. In fact, the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research published a second study of British CrossFit participates that indicated CrossFit injuries occurred at similar rates to powerlifting and gymnastics.

Another study published in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine of 486 CrossFit participates concluded the injury rate to be about 20 percent. Although that rate seems high, the study stated receiving instruction from a trainer on using proper form decreased injury rates, which makes sense.

Does CrossFit contribute to kidney damage?

Still, other concerns about the safety of CrossFit have also come into question. ABC News reported on the association between CrossFit and rhabdomyolysis. Rhabdomyolysis is a condition that leads to kidney damage. The news story was based on an article written by assistant professor of physical therapy at Regis University, Eric Robertson.

So what does kidney damage have to do with exercise? What happens is after an intense workout, microscopic damage is done to the muscle fibers. Usually, your body repairs the damage and off you go with stronger muscles. The problem occurs when the damage to the muscle fibers is so extreme, a protein is released into the blood and the kidneys become overwhelmed.

But not everyone agrees there is a link between CrossFit and rhabdomyolysis. It also seems logical that if significant muscle fiber damage can possibly lead to rhabdomyolysis, any extreme workout could be the culprit and not just CrossFit.

Does the CrossFit culture create health risks?

Whether you think CrossFit has revolutionized fitness or you are on the fence about trying a class, one thing is for sure. Workouts are intense. CrossFit classes generally involve a workout of the day, which may consist of sprinting, lunges, pull-ups and squats. Participates are encouraged to complete as many rounds as possible within a set timeframe.

One theory on why CrossFit may lead to injuries in some people is the culture it creates. A culture that encourages people to push themselves may cause some to go beyond their limits. For certain people, pushing themselves harder may result in an improved fitness level. But for others, injuries can result.

While the verdict is still out on whether CrossFit is safe for everyone, it makes sense to follow certain guidelines. It’s one thing to push yourself a bit during a workout. But it’s entirely different to work out to the point of vomiting or ignoring an injury. Remember, warm-up properly, listen to your body, stay well hydrated and stop if you suspect you have sustained an injury.

Are you looking for an intense fitness regimen but concerned about the risk of CrossFit injuries and negative health effects? The personal trainers at Elite Triangle Fitness can design and guide you through an individualized personal training program that’s right for you. Call us for a free consultation today!

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