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Rigorous Exercise in CrossFit Poses Some Danger

While 77% of Americans regard outdoor recreation as an important part of their lives, most New Yorkers don’t often get a chance to get out of the city to exercise. Instead, they turn to indoor gyms, yoga studios, pools, and tracks. Yet one particularly popular fitness program, CrossFit, might be more dangerous than beneficial.

Carolyn Nagler, an operations manager, had witnessed many injuries in her many years attending CrossFit classes. She herself cut her legs only six months after her own CrossFit journey doing a “box jump.”

Some of the exercises done at CrossFit are high-intensity interval training, which requires participants to complete physically rigorous repetitions, including squats, burpees, and weight lifting. CrossFit representatives have stated that while HIIT describes some components of CrossFit, it does not represent what it really is.

It should come as no surprise that this increase in demanding and difficult exercise should result in increased injuries. Jordan Metzl, a primary care sports medicine doctor at the Hospital for Special Surgery, says that he has seen a 30% increase in HIIT-related injuries at the hospital in the last two years.

Metzl, who also teaches an HIIT class, said, “I do think there is a sort of race between gyms to find the next new thing.”

CrossFit co-founder Greg Glassman has never beat around the bush. As he told the New York Times in 2005, “It can kill you. I’ve always been completely honest about that.”

It is easy for workout enthusiasts to get carried away and hurt themselves. The most common athletic ailments include muscle strains, knee and shoulder injuries, and tendon issues.

Even though being active can be dangerous, many health care professionals still believe that strength training is an important part of any athlete’s workout because it makes other exercises, like running, more productive and even easier.