Is Crossfit Dangerous?

A failed lift - happens.

A failed lift - happens.


Talking about prejudices against CrossFit: Its reputation to be a high-risk sports can't be explained away. It is not only my mom who keeps asking me if the combination of heavy weights, high speed and complex movements couldn't be dangerous. Also, that big group of people who - for some reason - have a big problem with the existence of CrossFit, don't get tired of stressing how dangerous the methodology seems to be.
Is CrossFit dangerous or over average risky? How could we measure! Let's take a look at the following statistic (people love statistics), showing the number of injuries of (youth) athletes in the United States for popular sports within one year:

American Football: 394.000
Basketball: 390.000
Soccer: 172.470
Baseball: 120.000
Softball: 58.000
Volleyball: 43.000
Wrestling: 41.000
Cheerleading: 38.000
Gymnastics: 28.000
Track and Field: 25.000

Whenever numbers like these are published, you can bet on seeing a huge discussion following. One topic I can think about: "Look at the high danger of basketball that is by nature a non-contact sports!" and: "See, a fighting sports like wrestling is comparatively gentle!" The problem lies in not knowing the difference between absolute and relative numbers. In a statistic made out of absolute numbers created for the American crowd, you
can only imagine football, basketball, soccer and baseball on top because, well, there are millions and millions of athletes doing it. I remember that in Germany soccer has always been on first place by far, because there's no sport that comes even close in popularity. And still people who do extreme sports and other stuff that is not much welcomed in society would point fingers on soccer. Where would american football appear in our statistic? Somewhere in the "miscellaneous" section, at the very most.
And what about CrossFit or any other gym activity that has no coverage by national federations, clubs etc.? Who is making the injury statistic for them? Well, every now and then there are figures getting published, based on surveys and estimations. A shaky base. No arguments pro and non against CrossFit. The discussion continues.
From my personal experiences I can tell: No, CrossFit is not anyhow more dangerous than any other sport. But this doesn’t mean there is no kind of danger at all. Whatever you do, on a high intensity especially, but even in everyday life, might have its consequences. I used to play handball and saw several bone breaks at the field. I myself broke my left hand when cycling back from school. My dad got a chronical Achilles verse infection from years of relaxed jogging. Our bodies are not bullet proof. There can always be that one second of inattention – but this is NOT only a CrossFit-thing.

And what is also true: It is mostly people who are not active at all who end up sick, with unhealthy joints, tendons, back pain and the like. Moving feeds the body and prevents us from becoming fragile with aging. And strength training does the greatest job in that! So do CrossFit to safe your live. On a long term.