Damage caused to the body that prevents or impedes athletic performance.

Anytime we get up off the couch we at risk of injury. Coming into a CrossFit gym and training for athletic performance we increase the risk of injury, well increased greater than staying at home seating on the couch. CrossFit has a perception of being dangerous and having lots of injuries. These perceptions are unfounded and sometimes flat out lies. I would argue from my experiences in physical training coming from Boxing, Australian Rules Football, Body Building and training for physical combat in the army, that CrossFit is a very safe method of physical training. The people who are screaming the loudest that it is dangerous either have something to lose by CrossFit becoming popular or have no understanding of what CrossFit is. What I have seen is, that CrossFit highlights damages that have been caused to the body through inactivity or past sports and can be misjudged as injuries caused from CrossFit. The most common example is an office worker who has been sitting at a desk every day for 15 years, walks into a CrossFit gym and are asked to put a PVC pipe over their head and squat. What they find out is, their shoulders, hips and back hurt because of how tight their muscles are. It is then common for the blame to be placed onto CrossFit.  We are defining what an injury is, major causes of  injuries, underlying causes and implementing methods of tracking injuries so that they can be prevented in the future and strategies for managing injuries on the rare case they occur.


Managing Injuries

All injuries that take place at Daylesford CrossFit are reviewed and recorded. The follow up procedures to injuries are determined by the severity and preventability of the injury. In the review process of an injury, the severity of the injury must be determined. Factors like, expected recovery time and disablement from everyday life are considered in determining the severity of an injury. The injury is then given a grad, Grade 1, Grade 2 or Grade 3 determined by the severity. The next step to the Review Process, is to determine the preventability of the injury. This is important, even a mild Grad 1 injury, like an abrasion, that has been determined to be one hundred percent preventable should be followed up differently than an injury that was completely unpreventable.  The final step in the Follow Up process is, following up with rehabilitation, Policies and procedure modification and adjustment to programming.


Injury Flow Chart


Types of Injury that may be seen in Physical Training.

First let’s take a look at some of the injuries that may occur inside of a Physical Training program. This does not intend to serve as a Medical journal or First Aid education, so I have not gone into too much depth. This is to highlight some of the injuries that may occur.

Soft Tissue Sprain – When a joint is taken beyond its normal range of motion overstretching or tearing ligaments that support the joint.

Soft Tissue Strain – A muscle that has been overstretched, contracted to quickly or placed under too much load causing the muscle to tear either partially or fully.

 Fracture – Damage to a bone

 Abrasion or Laceration – Damage caused to the skin.

 Heat Injury – Where the core body temperature is raised beyond normal levels.

 Dehydration – The removal of fluids from the body.

 Hyperhydration – Excessive of total body water content.

 Rhabdomyolysis – A breakdown of muscle tissue into the blood stream.


Direct Causes

A direct cause of injury is the circumstance that has directly led to the injury.


 Blunt Trauma Injury – An external object making connection with the body

Acute tissue Injury – A sudden tear, strain, break to a muscle, tissue, tendons or ligaments.

Chronic Tissue Injury – A progressively worsening tear, strain to a muscle tendon or ligament.



Underlying Causes

An underlying cause to an injury can be circumstances leading up to the injury. Most injuries are preventable and understanding the underlying causes of injuries can assist in implementing strategies to prevent injuries occurring. In the circumstance when an injury has occurred it is important to determine if there were any underlying causes, so strategies can be implemented to prevent further injuries occurring.

Overuse injury

  • This underlying cause of injury is often seen with over training. When an athlete is not taking rest days or the programming volume and or intensity is too high, all can lead to an overuse injury. Overuse injuries are preventable through good programming and work rest ratio.


Caused by pre-existing injury

  • An underlying factor where a previous injury causes a new injury. This maybe hard to diagnose and will take consultation with the athlete and for the coach to have an excellent understanding of anatomy and physiology. An example maybe an athlete with a pre-existing injury of a torn adductor causing the femur and the knee to externally rotate. This pre-existing injury may lead to a torn Medial Collateral Ligament in the knee. What has happened is due the pre-existing injury to the adductor, the femur has uncontrollably externally rotated while the foot is flat on the ground causing tension on the medial side of the knee, resulting in a tear to the MCL. This may have been preventable if the pre-existing injury was known or detected by the coach or athlete.


Fatigue injury

  • This could be a chronic or acute injury and probably the most common underlying cause of injuries. This underlying cause is where a muscle has been fatigued and an injury occurs. This could also be underlying cause where the athlete is physically or mentally fatigued and makes a technique error that leads to an injury.


Body Function or Postural Abnormality

  • This underlying cause to injury is when a joint or muscle that has an abnormal function or action that results in an injury. A simple example could be tight hamstring muscles that result in a muscle tear. Another example could be a hypermobile elbow that results in a dislocation. This can be more complex around primary moving joints, the hips and shoulders. Disfunction in a primary mover, example lack of external rotation of the shoulder, may be and underlying cause of an injurie to the wrist. It is important to identify these underlying causes, to prevent further injuries to the athlete.



Injury Preventions

Athlete self-performance Management

  • Recovery
  • Nutrition
  • Hydration
  • Sleep
  • Rest Days


Coach’s Management

  • Pre-Class Injury Check
  • Warm Up
  • Correct Loading
  • Technique
  • Cool Down



  • Volume
  • Intensity
  • Movement Balance



Injuries in training are rare, but we can not pretend that they do not happen. We must do everything we can to prevent injuries and in the rare case an injury occurs we must do everything we can to continue our training. Once we recover from the injury we should be fitter than before the injury and not the other way round.

Coach Lock