Injury Surveillance During Competitive Functional Fitness Racing Events

Sean Williams, Joanne Hitchcock, Lewis Davies, Christopher Barnes, Steven Williams, Amy Williams

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High-intensity functional training (HIFT) is an exercise training modality that has grown considerably in popularity over the last decade. More recently, competitive functional fitness racing events have emerged from HIFT, and aim to test athletes’ proficiency across a variety of movements, skills, and energy systems. Whilst the injury risk associated with HIFT has been shown to be low and comparable to other forms of recreational fitness activities, the injury risk associated with competitive functional fitness racing events is currently unknown. A prospective cohort design was used to record medical-attention injuries during two competitive functional fitness racing events, involving 1085 competitors. A total of 26 injuries were recorded over the two competitions, resulting in an injury incidence rate of 36 per 1000 competition hours (90% confidence limits [CL]: 26-50) and injury prevalence of 2.4% (90% CL: 1.6-3.2%). The shoulder (n=4) and hand (n=4) were the most commonly injured body locations. The incidence rate in male athletes was likely higher than female athletes (Rate Ratio [RR]: 1.87, 90% CL: 0.95-3.69). The injury incidence rate associated with competitive functional fitness racing events is higher than for HIFT training activities, though the injury prevalence is relatively low in comparison to other sporting activities. Further research is required to understand the burden of these injuries, and identify appropriate injury prevention strategies for this emerging sport.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-205
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Exercise Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2020

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