The Truth About Crossfit And Injuries

The Truth About Crossfit And Injuries

A man lifting kettlebells

Crossfit does not increase the risk of injury compared to other sports!

CrossFit has been around since 2000 and is growing in popularity. It combines ballistic gymnastics and Olympic weightlifting with traditional exercise. These exercises are performed in rapid succession, typically with an emphasis on maximum repetitions in a certain amount of time or finishing a certain number of repetitions in the shortest time possible.

Critics of CrossFit believe that there is an increased risk of getting injured compared to other sports. However, there have not been any studies to date that have identified demographic or training variables that might lead to shoulder injury for those individuals who participate in CrossFit training. A study aimed to examine the injury rate and compared with injury rates in other training methods of similar intensity.

Study findings

The study consisted of 187 individuals, where nearly all had been training CrossFit for at least 6 months. They were asked to fill out a survey, of which 44 (23%) reported a shoulder injury. Of those, 17 (38,6%) stated that this injury was an exacerbation of a previous injury prior to starting CrossFit. Only 27 (14,4%) sustained a new shoulder injury while participating in CrossFit.

The conclusion was that injuries in CrossFit occurred at a rate of 1.94 injuries per 1000 hours training. New shoulder injuries occurred at a rate of 1.18 per 1000 hours training. A similar study, with more participants, reported 3.1 per 1000 hours training, however, it didn’t specify whether the injury was sustained prior to CrossFit. The study concluded that although CrossFit training does pose a risk for injury, injury rates were comparable or even lower than other recreational and competitive forms of exercise.

Post provided by Maria Ekblom, a member of #teamEBT. Licensed physiotherapist and personal trainer.


  1. Summitt R, Cotton R, Kays A, Slaven E. Shoulder Injuries in Individuals Who Participate in CrossFit Training. Sports Health. 2016;8(6):541-546.
  2. Weisenthal B, Beck C, Maloney M, DeHaven K, Giordano B. Injury Rate and Patterns Among CrossFit Athletes. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine. 2014;2(4):232596711453117.
  3. Hak P, Hodzovic E & Hickey B. The nature and prevalence of injury during CrossFit training. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2013;:1
  4. Smith M et al. Crossfit-Based High-Intensity Power Training Improves Maximal Aerobic Fitness and Body Composition. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2013;27(11):3159-3172.

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