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CrossFit: Is It Dangerous?

February 5, 2024

CrossFit is a fitness regimen developed by Greg Glassman which involves constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. A main concept behind it is that intensity is essential for results. The more work you do in less time, or the higher the power output, the more intense the effort.

CrossFit is one of the major fitness trends of the last few years. In 2005 there were only 13 CrossFit affiliated gyms or ‘boxes’. Today there are over 10,000. But is the latest workout craze safe? Is CrossFit causing us injuries?

In a nutshell, yes it is safe. A study published this year concluded that the injury incidence rate associated with CrossFit training was low, and comparable to other forms of recreational fitness activities.

Like any fitness regime or sport, if done correctly the risk of injury reduces. If you are training at a box with coaches who understand the importance of warm up, progressive loading, correct technique, cool down and stretching, in addition to respecting what your body is telling you, than your risk of injury should be relatively low and comparable to other sports and work outs.

However, if you are falling into the trap of some of the pitfalls associated with some CrossFitters, then there’s injuries waiting to happen. I’m talking about:

-          The ‘no pain, no gain’ mentality. Workouts should NOT be causing you pain. You should not have to ‘work through’ sharp, stabbing back pain while doing those squats, cleans or deadlifts. Of course, normal muscle aches from doing a satisfying workout is ok, especially the day after exercising. It’s crucial to listen to your body and learn the difference.

-          The ‘higher weights = better gains’ crowd. Our muscles need to be stressed to make strength gains. This doesn’t mean that you start your routine with the highest weights possible without training or warm up. Exercise should be progressive, meaning starting at an appropriate weight and progress as your body gets stronger.

-           The ‘Personal bests over best form’. CrossFit can be addictive, and can get competitive. Never compromise your form just to reach a personal best. It will increase the likelihood of an injury significantly.


Not sure if your form is correct? If you have any questions please call one of our physiotherapists on 01 441 0100 at Rebalance Physiotherapy.