Common CrossFit Injuries

No matter what sport or recreational activity you choose, minor tweaks and injuries are inevitable. CrossFit is no exception to this, just as any other organised sport. Yet, there is still widely held belief that CrossFit is a more dangerous activity due to the nature of the sport.  Fortunately for those wanting to take part in CrossFit, according to the research, injury rates are no greater than that of Olympic weight-lifting, power-lifting and gymnastics. With 2.1 to 3.1 injuries per 1,000 training hours.

CrossFit Injuries 

CrossFit is built on intensity and volume.  Athletes are challenged to master many skills, meaning their bodies have to be highly adaptable.  Athletes have to be simultaneously – Strong, Flexible, Explosive and Fit.

It is natural for everyone to have their own strengths and weaknesses – there is always someone who smashes the conditioning workouts, but is not as strong.  Or someone  that has a bigger clean and press, but suffers on the gymnastic skill work.

What this means is you will have relative weak points that under the high intensity and highly variable training that is CrossFit, it can lead to niggles and injuries.

Common CrossFit Injuries

  • Lower Back Pain
  • Knee Pain
  • Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis) 
  • Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
  • Shoulder Impingement 
  • Achilles Tendinopathy
  • Wrist Pain

CrossFit Technique

A common argument regarding CrossFit injuries is that poor exercise technique makes it unsafe.  Firstly, horrible form can be found anywhere!  It would not be fair to generalise bad technique over the entirety of CrossFit.  In fact, CrossFit headquarters repeatedly discusses the mantra “Mechanics, Consistency & Intensity”, promoting moving well consistently before adding intensity (whether that be load, speed, volume).

However, there will be cases where poor technique does occurs.  The risk in CrossFit is that poor technique will occur under high load, high fatigue and high repetition. Therefore, posing the risk for both acute injuries and gradual overloading injuries.  This also comes down to both the individual and the individual trainers/box. 

CrossFit Fundamentals

Athletes within CrossFit need to be well-rounded.  This includes completing accessory work, and training to be a balanced athlete outside of programmed WODs.

My Top Tips to Minimise Injuries in CrossFit

  1. Managing your progressive overload and monitoring maximal recoverable volume
  2. Train at the appropriate volume for you
  3. Follow a proper exercise progressions when developing new skills
  4. Ensure you take the time to build strength in the correct movement patterns
  5. Utilise muscle group involvement to prevent imbalances or dominant muscle groups taking all the load
  6. Follow proper recovery practices – such as remedial massage and mobility programming from your qualified Physiotherapist **hint hint** I can help you with this 
  7. Address “niggles” and imbalances EARLY! Consult you’re qualified Physiotherapist who can give you the correct rehabilitation exercises specifically for you. 

In some unfortunate case where it will limit your training I can help you to find pain free alternatives to maintain strength and fitness while rehabilitating the injury.  I will work with you to rectify the issues and being proactive before something small becomes a full-blown injury.  I will allow you to keep training – in most cases simply find ways to modify your training through technique and accessory strengthening rather than taking the exercise away from you.  

Treatment Through Physiotherapy

Did you know at Trained Physio we have a fully equipped rehabilitation facility?  Check out the details here.  Physiotherapy has several goals including promote healing, reduce pain, avoiding aggravation, optimising physical function and global strengthening to restore normal movement patterns.  To see how I can help you  BOOK ONLINE TODAY

Written by: Olivia Strelein

  • BSc. Physiotherapy (Honours)
  • BSc. Exercise and Sport Science
  • Personal Trainer