The popular workout program CrossFit has received much scrutiny for its perceived risk of injuries. A recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research shows that injury rates for CrossFit participants are actually the same as for regular workouts. Researchers in the study found that 73.5 percent of participants had sustained an injury that had impeded their ability to work, train, or compete. The injury rate of 3.1 per 1,000 hours of activity is similar to that found in weightlifting, power lifting and gymnastics, but less than in contact sports like football. One important discrepancy found is that shoulder injuries accounted for nearly 25 percent of reported injuries, which exceeds the rate of competitive Olympic weight lifters.
Breaking Down the CrossFit Injury Data:
When setting fitness goals for yourself, be honest about what you’re trying to get out of your workouts. Are you looking to compete in CrossFit or simply get fit?
One advantage to CrossFit workouts is that they are supervised. If you are being coached by a qualified instructor, theoretically your form and technique should be perfect which reduces injuries. So why then, is the injury rate for CrossFit the same as for unsupervised fitness?
Olympic weightlifters lift hundreds of pounds over their heads and yet the shoulder injury rates for CrossFit participants exceed those of Olympic weightlifters. This is likely due to the varied nature of CrossFit participants: old, young, out of shape, fit, etc.
Top 8 CrossFit Training Tips
- Train Right. Doing one hundred repetitions of the wrong motion will not help you to achieve your goals. Be studious in your efforts to master the core CrossFit movements such as the squat, deadlift, and push press before moving on to the more complex moves. Master the movement without any weights first then slowly add weight as you gain the skill.
- Eat Right. Your body will be working hard so having the right fuel is important. Eat a good breakfast, high is protein and fats such as meat and eggs.
- Warm up Times Matter. The shorter the workout, the longer your warm up should be.
- Take a Back-Off Week. As you get into your workout routine, you should be taking a “back-off” week about every fourth week. You can workout but maybe a little less intensely and with different types of exercise.
- Use Dumbbells. Dumbbells can help you achieve great results as they require you to use your core as you lift weights to strengthen your extremities.
- Running Times are Important. If you do not come from a running background, you will need to put in some effort to improve your running times in order to achieve the best results.
- Work on Your Grip. A strong grip can help narrow inefficiencies in your technique. Do farmer’s carries to strengthen your grip.
- Play to Your Strengths Sometimes. Working on your weak areas is really important but can also be frustrating and discouraging. Every now and then you should have a workout that focuses on your strengths.
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