Injuries During High-Intensity Functional Training

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Knapik JJ 21(4). 112 - 115 (Journal Article)

High-intensity functional training (HIFT) involves high-volume and high-intensity physical activities with short rest periods between movements and the use of multiple-joint exercises. This paper analyzes narrative and systematic reviews covering studies of injuries sustained during HIFT. Two narrative and six systematic reviews on injuries during HIFT were identified. Seven reviews concluded that the injury incidences or injury rates during HIFT were similar to those of comparable sports and exercise programs. The most often injured anatomic locations were shoulders, backs, and knees. The most comprehensive and recent review involved 21 retrospective and three prospective studies. In this review, mean ± standard deviation (SD) injury prevalence was 35% ± 15%, the injury rate was approximately 3 ± 5 injuries/1,000 hours of training, and the prevalence of injuries requiring surgery was 6% ± 5%. Most injuries were associated with weightlifting exercises, especially deadlifts, snatches, clean and jerks, and overhead presses. Other risk factors included participation time in HIFT, participation in competition, prior injuries, weekly training frequency, male sex, older age, and alternating training loads. Although most studies included in these reviews were of lower methodologic quality, current evidence suggests that injury rates in HIFT are similar to those of other exercise activities. More high-quality prospective studies are needed to fully evaluate HIFT safety.

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