Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine


Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2017) 16, 53 - 59
Research article
Retrospective Injury Epidemiology and Risk Factors for Injury in CrossFit
Alicia M. Montalvo1,, Hilary Shaefer1, Belinda Rodriguez1, Tan Li1, Katrina Epnere1, Gregory D. Myer2

1 Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA
2 Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, OH., USA

Alicia M. Montalvo
✉ Assistant Professor, Athletic Training Program, Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Florida International University, AHC 3-331, Miami, FL, USA 33199

08-11-2016 -- Accepted: 09-01-2017 --
Published (online): 01-03-2017


The objective of the study is to examine injury epidemiology and risk factors for injury in CrossFit athletes. A survey was administered to athletes at four owner-operated facilities in South Florida. Respondents reported number, location of injury, and training exposure from the preceding six months and answered questions regarding potential risk factors for injury. Fifty out of 191 athletes sustained 62 injuries during CrossFit participation in the preceding six months. The most frequently injured locations were the shoulder, knee, and lower back. Injury incidence was 2.3/1000 athlete training hours. Competitors were more likely to be injured (40% v 19%, p = 0.002) and had greater weekly athlete training hours (7.3 ± 7.0 v 4.9 ± 2.9, p < 0.001) than non-competitors. Athletes who reported injury also reported significantly higher values for the following risk factors: years of participation (2.7 ± 1.8 v 1.8 ± 1.5, p = 0.001), weekly athlete training hours (7.3 ± 3.8 v 4.9 ± 2.1, p = 0.020), weekly athlete-exposures (6.4 ± 3.8 v 4.7 ± 2.1, p = 0.003), height (1.72 ± 0.09 m v 1.68 ± 0.01 m, p = 0.011), and body mass (78.24 ± 16.86 kg v 72.91 ± 14.77 kg, p = 0.037). Injury rates during CrossFit and location of injuries were similar to those previously reported. Injury incidence was similar to related sports, including gymnastics and powerlifting. While being a competitor was related to injury, increased exposure and length of participation in CrossFit likely underlied this association. Specifically, increased exposure to training in the form of greater weekly athlete training hours and weekly participations may contribute to injury. Increased height and body mass were also related to injury which is likely reflective of increased load utilized during training. Further research is warranted to determine if biomechanical factors associated with greater height and ability to lift greater loads are modifiable factors that can be adapted to reduce the increase risk of injury during CrossFit.

Key words: Incidence, prevalence, exercise, weight training
Key Points
The overall rate of injury in CrossFit athletes was 2.3/1000 athlete training hours.
The shoulder, knee, and lower back were the most frequently reported locations of injury.
In adjusted models, length of participation in CrossFit, physical activity outside of CrossFit, weekly athlete-exposures to CrossFit, and height were associated with injury in CrossFit athletes.



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Alicia M. Montalvo, Hilary Shaefer, Belinda Rodriguez, Tan Li, Katrina Epnere, Gregory D. Myer, (2017) Retrospective Injury Epidemiology and Risk Factors for Injury in CrossFit. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (16), 53 - 59.

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