The issue here is not the workouts themselves; rather, it is participants and exercise professionals who do not know how to properly prevent and treat workout-related injuries.
Explained below are some of the most common boot camp fitness injuries, along with tips for participants and exercise professionals on how to avoid and treat them.
Most Common Bootcamp Fitness Injuries
- Ankle sprains/strains: These injuries are usually caused by incorrect landings, non-supportive footwear, or tripping over misplaced equipment.
- Lower back pain: This is usually caused by lifting too much weight too quickly, lifting with improper form, or doing movements that are too advanced.
- Patellar tendinopathy: This occurs when the tendon that connects the kneecap and shinbone becomes inflamed, usually as a result of too much jumping or running.
- Rotator cuff tendinopathy: This is inflammation of the tendons that make up the shoulder joint. It is often caused by heavy, repetitive lifting or lifting with improper form.
- Plantar fasciitis/foot pain: This is usually the result of improper footwear or poor running form.
Who’s at Risk of Bootcamp Fitness Injuries?
Anyone attending a boot camp fitness class can experience these injuries. However, the following groups of people are at a greater risk than others.
- People who train frequently: Attending boot camp classes multiple times per week increases your risk of putting too much stress on the muscles, tendons, and joints.
- People with poor biomechanics: If you have muscle imbalances or tightness, you are more likely to experience injuries.
- People with a low fitness level: If you are brand new to working out, you may be more likely to injure yourself.
Falling into one of these groups does not guarantee that you will injure yourself. It also does not mean that you should avoid working out. You just need to take some extra precautions.
How to Avoid Bootcamp Fitness Injuries
The following are some of the best steps you can take to prevent the most common boot camp injuries:
- Modify moves as necessary: Do not be embarrassed about using a lighter weight (or even no weight at all), shortening the distance you run, or walking instead of running.
- Do not compete with other participants: Remember that everyone is starting at a different level and it is not fair to compare yourself to people who have been working out longer than you.
- If you are new, let your exercise professional know so they can keep an eye on you and give you extra tips throughout the class.
- Talk to your exercise professional to make sure you understand the proper technique for an exercise before you do it.
Tips for Exercise Professionals to Avoid Injuries
- Always show various modification options before the workout starts.
- Encourage participants to push themselves, but be on the lookout for signs of exhaustion (such as form and technique starting to break down).
- When you notice these signs, tell them to take a break or get a drink.
- Set up equipment properly before class.
- Keep first aid kits on hand.
- Do not hold outdoor classes when it is particularly hot, or cold, outside.
- Be loud, and clear, with your cues so everyone can hear you.
How to Treat These Bootcamp Fitness Injuries
Whether you are experiencing knee pain or are struggling with lower back issues, these steps can help you relieve your pain and get back to your boot camp workouts.
The “RICE” method can be applied to just about any boot camp fitness injury. When you start to experience pain, stiffness, or any other kind of discomfort, take a break from your workouts and spend time icing and elevating the affected joint. You can also apply compression in the form of a brace or bandage to minimise swelling and promote healthy blood flow.
It is fine to take over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers like ibuprofen on occasion to help reduce your pain. But, do your best not to rely on them. Constantly dulling your pain can cause you to return to your workouts before you are ready; this, in turn, increases your risk of experiencing future (recurrent) injuries.
Try to maintain a low level of activity while you are letting an injury heal, too. Being completely sedentary for weeks at a time is not going to do your body any favours. Go for walks, swim, or do yoga to keep your muscles strong and healthy. Just make sure you are not straining the injured body part during your activity of choice.