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Injuries on the Rise from High Intensity Work-Outs


 The fitness programs are new exercise trends that are sweeping the country.

The Sports Medicine Clinic at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center is seeing an increased number of patients with injuries sustained from high intensity exercises such as crossfit.

“I see multiple patients a week with injuries sustained from these types of exercises,” says Kareem Shaarawy, MD, sports medicine physician at St. Joseph’s. “The injuries are varied and have included meniscus tears and stress fractures from the high impact exercise.”

The high intensity and short workouts often mix aerobic exercises with Olympic weightlifting, and other training exercises such as kettlebells, and rope climbs. Doctors warn that many of these types of fitness plans may not be for everyone.

“An average person who does not have weight lifting experience should not be lifting large weights at a high intensity level right away,” says Dr. Shaarawy. “Too much focus on the high frequency of reps rather than proper form can cause injuries in someone who is not a seasoned athlete. Although there are good elements to these types of exercises such as interval training, it’s very important to start off slow before ramping-up into high levels.”

Dr. Shaarawy recommends the following tips for remaining injury free while doing high impact exercises.

  • Don’t Rush. Proper technique and form is key to preventing injuries. Focus on your form while slowing down your reps.
  • Don’t Forget to Warm Up. Maintain good flexibility by stretching hips, hamstrings and calves before starting each work-out.
  • Know Your Limits. Don’t do too much too soon. Progress yourself slowly into the higher or advanced training sessions.
  • Pain Has No Gain. Don’t work-out through the pain. If a movement causes pain, either decrease the amount of reps, weight or completely eliminate the exercise from your regiment.
  • Training is Key. Find a good trainer who will incorporate your level of skill when starting out and monitor your form for maximum productivity.

Contact: Carmelle Malkovich 602.406.3319


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