Exercise Science and Sport Management

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Background: High-intensity functional training (HIFT) is a new training modality that merges high-intensity exercise with functional (multijoint) movements. Even though others exist, CrossFit training has emerged as the most common form of HIFT. Recently, several reports have linked CrossFit training to severe injuries and/or life-threatening conditions, such as rhabdomyolysis.Empirical evidence regarding the safety of this training modality is currently limited. Purpose: To examine the incidence of injuries related to CrossFit participation and to estimate the rate of injuries in a large cross-sectional convenience sample of CrossFit participants from around the world. Study Design: Descriptive epidemiology study. Methods: A total of 3049 participants who reported engaging in CrossFit training between 2013 and 2017 were surveyed. Results: A portion (30.5%) of the participants surveyed reported experiencing an injury over the previous 12 months because oftheir participation in CrossFit training. Injuries to the shoulders (39%), back (36%), knees (15%), elbows (12%), and wrists (11%)were most common for both male and female participants. The greatest number of injuries occurred among those who participatedin CrossFit training 3 to 5 days per week (w2¼12.51;P¼.0019). Overall, and based on the assumed maximum number of workouthours per week, the injury rate was 0.27 per 1000 hours (females: 0.28; males: 0.26), whereas the assumed minimum number ofworkout hours per week resulted in an injury rate of 0.74 per 1000 hours (females: 0.78; males: 0.70). Conclusion: Our findings suggest that CrossFit training is relatively safe compared with more traditional training modalities.However, it seems that those within their first year of training as well as those who engage in this training modality less than 3 daysper week and/or participate in less than 3 workouts per week are at a greater risk for injuries.

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Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine

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