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Retrospective Injury Epidemiology and Risk Factors for Injury in CrossFit

by MASS4D® Prescription Orthotics May 06, 2018


The purpose of this research was to examine injury epidemiology and risk factors for injury in CrossFit.

Four CrossFit affiliates in South Florida participated in the research.

A total of 255 athletes from participating affiliates were asked to participate in the research; of the athletes who were asked, 191 completed the survey.

The purpose of this investigation was to examine the location, severity, number of injuries and potential risk factors for injury in the preceding six months.

The survey was composed of three sections – section one pertained to the athletes’ participation; section two pertained to CrossFit injury history within the preceding six months; and section three pertained to the athletes’ background.

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Injury rates were calculated by estimating the number of athlete training hours in the preceding six months.

Of the 50 respondents who reported injury in the preceding six months, 12 respondents reported more than one injury over the surveillance period.

The most frequently injured locations were the shoulder, knee and lower back.

Twenty-four percent of the athletes indicated that their injury did not affect their training while fifty percent indicated that their reported injury caused them to change their performance of an exercise/training regimen.

With regard to potential risk factors for CrossFit participation, injured athletes had significantly greater training exposure than uninjured athletes.

Greater exposure equates to more chances in which injury can occur.

Injured athletes had significantly greater length of participation/experience in CrossFit than uninjured athletes.

This finding may be partially explained by skill level and the relative loads utilised, which were not measured in this research.

While the rate of injury in CrossFit is similar to other forms of exercise, individuals interested in pursuing CrossFit for fitness, competition, or both should weigh the risks and benefits of participation.

Copyright 2018 MASS4D® All rights reserved. 

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  1. Montalvo, A. M., Shaefer, H., Rodriguez, B., Li, T., Epnere, K., Myer, G. D. (2017) Retrospective Injury Epidemiology and Risk Factors for Injury in CrossFit. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine: March 2017, Vol. 16, pp. 53-59.

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