Thinking of Joining a Bootcamp without Physical Training? Think Again

It is generally believed that a bootcamp applicant is likely to sustain a few injuries during the course of basic training. And while injuries during basic training are common, they are often the consequence of a lack of preparation prior to basic training.

However, this article would not hold much value if we simply told you to accept the fact that you are going to be injured. It is important to know what types of injuries are common during basic training so you are better able to respond when these types of injuries are sustained (or hopefully avoid them in the first instance). So, what are the most common injuries you could sustain during bootcamp training?

Shin Splints

Shin splints (aka medial tibial stress syndrome) is a common exercise issue – with the underlying problem being inflammation of the outer covering of the bone (periosteum). Shin splints often develop after a period of intense exercise that subject the shins to a lot of impact force, as is the case with running, which you are likely to do a lot of in bootcamp. Shin splints can be relieved with ice packs and rest, and they are generally not considered to be serious injuries.

Hamstring ‘Pulls’

Pulled hamstrings can be the result of a poorly structured warm-up (or lack of a warm-up). Hamstrings are generally very dense muscles and thus, they are very resilient. While you will not always be given the time to warm-up properly during training, a good way to minimise the risk of injury is to improve the flexibility of your hamstrings through regular stretching.


Any pain in the lower back is referred to as “lumbago”. The lower back is put through a lot of strain during training, not only because of the weight that aspiring soldiers have to carry on their backs, but also because of the fact that they have to shift positions often, such as from kneeling to standing.

This frequent shift of both the centre of gravity and the constant weight puts a lot of strain on the lower back. A good way to minimise the risk of lumbago is to strengthen your lower back as much as you can.

Soldier carrying heavy load

IT Band Syndrome

The iliotibial band is the slab of connective tissue that stretches from the side of your hip to the outer side of the knee. This connective tissue is used during running, cycling, swimming and climbing. IT Band Syndrome is caused by improper exercise technique, lack of proper warm-up, and by pushing yourself too hard.

Straining this band could leave you unable to walk/run for a few weeks, so it is best to pay attention to this area while running and to get enough rest between workouts.

Can I Sue For My Injuries?

While recruits are expected to condition themselves before joining bootcamp training – by heeding the pre-joining exercise advice – there is a limit to the extent that recruits can be pushed. When non-battle injuries cause long-term damage, soldiers may wish to recover damages for their injuries if these injuries were caused by exposing the soldier to unnecessary harm.

According to a Lexington personal injury attorney, the main determinant of liability lies in whether or not the injury was caused by an act of negligence, as is the case when there is a failure to observe reasonable safety standards such as forcing an injured recruit to continue training or in having recruits train outdoors amidst a hurricane, for example.

However, cases like this are rare, especially when you consider the fact that the majority of bootcamp-related injuries are caused by a recruit’s lack of preparation rather than negligence. Recruits are protected by law from unnecessary harm, but it is their responsibility to ensure that they are sufficiently prepared for bootcamp training.


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