RICHARD F. SILBER, PLLC
How Extreme Workouts Can Cause Injuries
Everyone is looking for that fitness trend that will get them into shape in record time and in an enjoyable way. The latest trend is extreme fitness programs. These programs usually involve circuit training, resistance training, running intervals, and aggressive, timed weight lifting. The problem is that people are participating in these extreme programs at a level not suitable for their current workout capabilities. The journal Sports Health reports that new athletes in these programs were 2.5 times more likely to sustain injury than more experienced participants. People are doing too much too fast and are suffering sometimes severe and lasting injuries as a result.
One of the more popular types of extreme workouts right now is CrossFit. CrossFit training involves a circuit of timed lifting in a group setting. People like the group atmosphere and the competitive atmosphere. The problem is, timed lifting leads to participants performing lifts that require implementation of a specific form and skill based in a rushed manner. The compromised form will easily open up a person to injury. Additionally, while the group atmosphere can be motivating, it can also amplify these types of workouts in a non-positive way. Yes, it is good to push yourself in your workouts, but not too much. With a high intensity, timed, and competitive workout like CrossFit, it is no wonder that the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research states that 73.5% of CrossFit participants experience injuries.
Common injuries from extreme workouts include things like hip impingement. This is when the ball and socket joint of your hip do not move smoothly. The incidents of hip impingement have increased among young adults who participate in extreme workouts. Many cases require arthroscopic surgery, but this will still only be a temporary fix. Many people suffering from hip impingement will eventually require joint replacement. Additionally, rotator cuff and bicep tendon injuries are common. High repetition of heavy weights can all too easily cause soft tissue injuries in the shoulder.
Remember, your workout should be geared to you. There is no one-size fits all workout. Participate in a fitness program that is appropriate for your fitness level and to safely meet your goals. Being injured in your workouts can not only lead to a lot of pain in the present, but it can really set you back on reaching your fitness goals. A good workout plan for you is one that takes into account your current abilities and how to meet your goals in need in a safe way so that injury is minimized. You might become impatient that you are not progressing fast enough, but remember that whatever brought you to the workout in the first place, whether it be lack of exercise or unhealthy dietary choices, cannot be undone overnight. Get a good pace going for your workout program. Make reasonable goals to meet along the way.