Is CrossFit Dangerous?
CrossFit is an intense strength and conditioning workout program that encourages women athletes to step out of their comfort zone. In fact, the sport tries to promote gender equity among all the athletes despite its intensity, which is why 60% of CrossFit athletes worldwide are women. The CrossFit Games also requires an equal amount of male and female athletes to compete each year. So with the many health benefits that come with the sport, it comes as no surprise that CrossFit continues to grow in popularity.
Despite its popularity, many individuals are concerned about the safety of intense, high-impact workout programs like CrossFit. If you're too are worried, here's what you need to know:
The Truth About CrossFit Programs
CrossFit is a fitness program that combines high-intensity interval training, weightlifting, and plyometrics. This can be a lot for some, but CrossFit challenges you by combining the three aforementioned fitness programs into short workouts. The program is undeniably intense because CrossFit was developed as a military-level strength and conditioning training program. And accomplishing these workouts in a short time is no easy feat, which is why some fitness buffs are questioning the safety of the actual program.
To address these concerns, a scientific review has objectively assessed the risks and benefits associated with CrossFit. According to the review, the rates of injury are about 0.74% to 9.5% per 1,000 hours of exposure. In particular, CrossFit athletes are more likely to experience injuries to their shoulders, spine, hips, and knees. Though these injuries are a big concern, the study pointed out that novice participants were more likely to experience injuries rather than experienced athletes. The review emphasized that the biggest cause of shoulder injuries was poor technique and exacerbating a previous injury.
Therefore, for beginners it is important that qualified professionals supervise them and the program has a gradual arc to it, as newbies learn the basics of CrossFit. While CrossFit can be intense, it is similar to other sports in that you need to work with experienced professionals to create a program based on your fitness level.
Experts Are Critical to Your Safety
As the aforementioned study emphasized, the supervision is a huge factor that can affect the safety level of the program itself. This is further highlighted by Barry Franklin, professor of physiology, who stated that over-exercising is extremely dangerous when performed by individuals who are inactive, unfit, or unhealthy. Over-exercising through high-intensity workout programs like CrossFit can be taxing on anyone’s cardiovascular system. However, it can become hazardous when individuals with heart diseases or low fitness levels immediately jump into a CrossFit program.
To ensure your safety, you need to get yourself checked by a healthcare professional before trying a CrossFit program. If you have any underlining conditions or an injury you will need to inform the nurse who will be your first point of contact. These specialized nursing practitioners will have a BSN qualification, which means they are qualified in areas such as rehabilitation. They will be able to determine if you need a further examination and will refer you to a specialist. Once you get the green light, we recommend that you start your CrossFit program in a gym operated by highly-trained coaches. These fitness professionals can guarantee your safety by modifying and adapting the workout based on your fitness levels. Through their assessment and supervision, you can reduce your risk for injury and cardiovascular illness.
CrossFit is an intense workout program that will test your fitness to the max. Despite its intensity, you can guarantee your safety by working with the right professionals throughout your journey. Get a proper health assessment and follow a gradual workout program so that you can avoid any health repercussions as you build your strength day by day.
Written by Ashley Obrien for wodbottom.com