Crossfit Injuries

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In your life, your everyday life you can sustain a knee injury. You can fall, twist the wrong way while your foot remains firmly planted to the ground, sustain a crossfit injury or even get hit by a car. I did and sustained a knee injury. Thankfully my only one and through skilled people I have no lasting affects from it. Were going to talk about knee injuries from the standpoint of Crossfit injuries.

Now you are doing a sport. Hockey, baseball, football etc. and your chances of a knee injury increase quite a bit in fact. Crossfit knee injuries are sport injuries and not necessarily any different from any other knee injury suffered participating in sport.

You can however, take some steps to limit your chances of an injury such as knee sleeves, and good proper training and form.

1.  Get a Good Coach, Listen to Them and Practice Form

How many times have you heard people say they don’t want to do Crossfit because they don’t want to get hurt. It’s all Crossfit injuries and bad formover the web and almost has a cult following. This is not at all true of people who train properly, have good coaches to preach and continuously practice form. This is true for any sport. Form is the most important thing you can have to limit injury and every successful athlete practices form over and over until they can do it in their sleep. Only then will they limit injury and be successful at their discipline. Crossfit is the same way.

So when you first decide you want to pick up a barbell, don’t. Look at it and then find a trainer to give you coaching. Lifting a barbell can be a very complicated thing. Look at the position the man above is in. Wrists in danger, back in danger, and of course her knees are all in danger.

The squat snatch for example has a lot of ways it can hurt you including your knees. It is also one very complicated lift with many steps to get right before you can successfully and safely be in a squat with the bar above your head and then stand up.

Once you have good enough form that you won’t hurt yourself, stay at light weights and practice practice practice. When I go to open gym to focus on the clean and jerk for example, I will take an empty bar and go over and over my form with just an empty bar before putting any weight on it

2. Use Knee Sleeves

The benefit of knee sleeves comes from compression. These tight neoprene sleeves surround the knee joint and muscles with even compression that keeps your knees warm during your workout. The heat and compression help keep the joint flexible and provides stability. Simple enough.

There are studies that support the theory that compression sleeves also give small performance gains. The estimates are between 1-2 percent greater power.

Knee sleeves protect from crossfit injuriesSo you’re form is good and you are now lifting heavy, but the heavier you lift, the more vulnerable your knees are. Your knee sleeves along with warmth and compression also add stability to your joints. Knowing your knee sleeves add stability to your knees can give you more confidence when squatting heavy weight.

Crossfit is all about time and competition. Workouts can take an athlete mentally and physically to the edge of their ability. With this comes fatigue resulting and a loss of control. Your form suffers and you may end up with a higher risk of injury. With this in mind, most athletes wear their knee sleeves for the extra support and feeling of confidence.

Traditionally, there are 3 sizes, 3mm thick, 5mm thick, and 7mm thick. The 3mm knee sleeves are worn more by long distance runners looking for extra stability and support in their run, and the 7mm knee sleeves by weightlifters looking to lift some extra kilos with the help of extra knee support. The 5mm knee sleeve can be used for all sports.

3. Proprioceptive training

Balance and proprioception are all about our ability to stay safely upright without injury. In order for us to remain upright, our brain needs constant input from our muscles and joints. This input enables the brain to monitor our position and make corrections when necessary. If the brain receives poor information, or if it receives the information too slowly, then we are prone to injury, such as spraining an ankle or repeatedly irritating the knee.

Proprioceptive training may help you save yourself from injury. Your body can be trained to act quickly and adjust it’s movement in order to prevent injury. This is precisely why we see athletes practicing balance with balance boards, Bosu balls and other balancing tools

4. Mobility – Do it and Prevent Crossfit Injuries

For a long time stretching exercises to improve your mobility have been under the microscope. Some experts say it works, some say it has no benefit, some say do it before you workout and some say after. What we know for sure is that regular causes of knee pain stem from tight muscles around the hips, thighs and lower back.

Me, I do it regularly at home, before my WOD (workout of the day) and after.

Because most of the world spends far too much time sitting (up to 8 hrs a day) our joints and muscles adapt to an Mobility helps protect us from crossfit injuriesinactive and sedate lifestyle. Head to the gym for a workout after sitting for a few hours and your whole body feels stiff as a board and you are asking for trouble.

Spend 15 min or a half hour loosening your muscles and joints up. There are simple stretching exercises you can do and rubber bands to aid in stretching. If you don’t know what to do, ask a trainer or coach for a warmup routing you can do before you train. Once you’re sufficiently stretched out and feeling good, go for a quick jog, row, or do a few air squats to get your heart rate going.

Once you add all of this to your regular training, your body’s ability to prevent a knee injury are greatly increased. Your longevity at the gym will be increased, and so will your overall health.


Me, I’ve been an active fittness buff for as long as I can remember and 5 years ago I put all of my efforts into the great sport of CrossFit.  This sport has elevated my fitness to new levels through a lot of hard work and dedication and I want to share this with you. Fitness keeps us healthy so get out there.

36 thoughts on “Crossfit Injuries

  1. Hi and what a cool site. I love to see honesty in reviews and the way you write really connects with your visitors. It leaves them in no doubt that they should get coaching from someone that knows what they are doing before they start embarking on an excercise that could potentially hurt them. Please keep the quality content coming. Thanks Kenny 

  2. Some cool advice on protecting yourself doing crossfit and you definitely need to take care of your knees as they can take some real strain.

    Personally, I have a knee problem on the right side which my specialist told me was hereditary – essentially the knee joint is wearing out prematurely. I have a whole series of daily exercises that are designed to support the knee with muscle (as an op won’t do much good).

    The exercises work really well, and I’ve even been able to ski again which is all good.

    Thanks to your article, I’m going to look at knee supports again, so could you please point me to your top recommendation?


    • good to hear you are back to skiing.  Work hard.

      The best knee sleeves out there right now are Rehband sleeves.  They are favored by some of the best athletes in the world.

  3. I don’t do crossfit, but I do a lot of HIIT myself and I think a lot of what your saying also applies to other workout genres. I also completely agree with what you’re saying.

    A lot of times I see people underestimating the importance of doing an excercise 100% correctly. They don’t seem to understand that if you do not do it right, it will not be effective and can even cause injuries… A lot of times the poor guidance in fitness centers and groups lessons are to blame. Partialy due to the fact that the coaches are having to keep an eye on multiple people at once, which is not always easy… 

    • You are right.  Too many gyms with group classes just start right in and many times the instructor is actually participating rather than watching.

      A group class should always start with going over form for the things you will be doing in the class.  This is how every one of our classes start and they are run by certified Crossfit coaches.  During the WOD 2 coaches are walking the room watching g and correcting.

  4. Very interesting article Stew and certainly some good advice. I have personally experienced issues by not carrying out an efficient warm up routine, it really can put you out of the game for several weeks resting the strained area, for me it was lower back.

    I was advised by a personal trainer to adopt a pre-workout routine that he referred to as dynamic stretching, something I had never heard about before. Previously I was only aware of the classic static stretching techniques. I have found very good results by using dynamic stretching I have never experienced any issues since adopting this.


    • yes. Having a pre workout routine to prep is worth a million bucks to your body.  I always spend 30 min before every workout.

  5. forgive the all caps. I have no idea what my keyboard is doing.
    I had to get a knee sleeve a couple of months ago because (I’m assuming) I hyperextended my knee doing lunges. I’ve always had a time with those things for some reason even though I practice proper form. I didn’t realize just how long it takes for a knee to heal. The body is an amazing thing and will heal with time but it takes time. that’s been hard for me to adjust to because I’m at the gym regularly and i just got into a lower body routine before i hurt myself.
    So, now I’ve adjusted my workout and removed the lunges and instead focus on different kinds of squats. If i absolutely have to do a lunge i do stationary lunges and really really ….really take my time. lol.
    Great post-Thanks for reminding me to also stretch to warm up my muscles:)

  6. I’m sure my poor knees wouldn’t do well with crossfit. They’re already clicking and hurting just from walking. My plan is to lose some weight before I start working the knees and legs out more. Do you have any recommendations for protecting your knees when you’re a larger person? Many of the regular supports don’t fit me.

    • I’d have to say you should deal with your physicians and then a physiotherapist for knee support.  I can’t help you there sorry.

  7. Crossfit has been a great sport that I have gotten into the last year or so. It has helped all my big lifts. I suggest if you don’t have a coach – film yourself to see what you are doing wrong. Compare yourself to professionals so that you won’t get hurt. Crossfit gyms are expensive but that’s the cost of a personal trainer. It is a great deal when you can go as many times as you want to the gym. I really can’t believe that most of the world sits for 8 hours or more a day. This is bad for our bodies!

    • Good to hear you do Crossfit.   Great sport.  I am able to go most days of the week so I get everything I need.  I could never sit at a desk all day.  It would kill me.

  8. Great article on the dangers of working out without proper training and good habits, like having someone be your coach and spotter. 

    It is so important to have someone watching us workout from a different point of view, many times we just do not see the dangers that are right in front of us.

    As we get older the braces can help us from getting injured. Thanks for point that out! Also I especially like the idea of warming up and stretching before starting to exercise, we tend to get in a hurry and cut corners here very easily.

    Have a great day!


    • You’re right.  I do half hour before my class because I don’t want to get injured and I want to be able to do the lifts  properly and effectively.  If I am too tight, I may not get a lift done right.

  9. I have lots of knee problems now and I always remember as a kid I could do anything and feel fine! My Dad warned me to take care of my knees but I didn’t listen very much! Sure enough, it is a lot harder to fix what is already messed up! I have loose ligaments causing hypermobility so my joints are loose and unstable which makes for very interesting problems as muscles try to overcompensate and hold the body together. I know from much experience that you really need to be careful when exercising!

    Just a simple movement can cause serious injury if you do it the wrong way or you are prone to a certain problem.

    These are great reminders for how to stay safe.

  10. I’ve always wanted to get into crossfit and tried a few workouts on my own. I didn’t get injured but I did feel like I could have been at any moment, it felt very risky. Now I know that having a coach is very important to avoid getting these injuries by having someone guide you to do it the right way.

    Do you think crossfit is a good workout for losing weight? I’m trying to lose about 20 pounds and looking for something that will get the job done in shortest amount of time, crossfit seems like the perfect candidate. I want to train crossfit 6 times a week, is that too much?

    • With Crossfit you will lose weight, but you have to eat well too.  Many people have come to our gym needing to lose a few extra pounds and we see the transformation quickly.

      If you are new to Crossfit, you won’t be able to do it 6 days a week.  Your body is just not ready for such new ways of exercising and the intensity of it.  Give yourself a month at least of 3 times a week before 6 days a week.

      I have been a regular Crossfitter for 6 years now and I do 5 days a week.  After that, my body needs a break.

  11. First of all thank you for utilizing your painful experience and channeling it into a great outlet that can help other people treat and prevent their own injuries. That’s admirable and one of life’s secrets. Right on ya!

    The first thing that spoke out to me was the knee sleeves. I never completely understood why people used them. I had no idea it was for compression, heat, and flexibility. That make sense. Turns out it’s not just for fashion statements for older people. lol I lift heavy weights so I may look into this for my dead lifts.

    I’m glad you wrote about mobility exercises because despite all the conflicting theories, I don’t see how they can’t be essential given the fact that more flexible joints and muscles allow more abuse and activity that you will undoubtedly have when lifting, running, or being active in any sport.

    I also had no idea about Proprioceptive training which is essentially balancing training. It makes a lot of sense as well because it can be very easy to lose your footing and hurt yourself even if your fairly coordinated and athletic—I’ve done it one too many times to know lol Very helpful to be aware that this skill can be developed.

    Thanks for the informative article! Keep writing!


  12. I can really sympathise with knee injuries as I picked one up as a 21 year old playing football (or soccer, depending on where you are in the world you are). 

    I spent many years looking after the knee and when I eventually took running back up about 8 years ago I used one of the knee sleeves you have mentioned here – a wonderful piece of kit. 

    I’ve now got to the point where I don’t use the sleeve any longer – my knee stands up well on it’s own when I run, but it will never be 100% again unfortunately. 

    I’m currently on the lookout for a new more modern sleeve – just in case I overdo things. Could you maybe point me in the direction of a decent brand?

    • That’s a great come back story you have.  Good to hear.

      The best choice out there now is Rehband knee sleeves.  They are worn by many of the best athletes around.  I wear them to.  I don’t have knee problems, I just don’t want them.

  13. Hi there.  This is a great article.  I have a couple questions.  I have had surgery on both my knees so should I be leary or just start small and let my body be the judge.  Also I am trying to lose weight so would this be good to implement into my weight lose regime.  I look forward to hearing the answers.  

    • Knees are a big deal.  If you are over weight you may be putting extra pressure on them.  Losing weight as well as fittness is the way to go.  Both together and definitely start small and work up letting your body talk to you.

  14. Nice guide for someone like me that rarely go to gym. I’m not a gym person but once I go the gym, I’ll work out like hell. Then, after 1 day, I feel like my muscle going to tear down. So, I need this kind of advice. Atleast I can avoid any major injury to my muscle. Thanks for this article. I’ll bookmark this article as my reference every time I go to gym 🙂

  15. I Like your thorough review and dedication to cross fit, it’s so important to look after our knees when training.

    With regards to knee sleeves, I think they are a must when lifting, I always wear them as I have a bad knee anyway, I find using them have helped me.

    I think dynamic stretching is important, for instance when you spar in boxing you warm up by shadow boxing and skipping which imititates the movements you use sparring.

    I think sports specific dynamic stretching is important over Static stretching.

    • I am a firm believer in stretching before your workout so you are loose.  Many people find it hard to get into a squat position until the stretch and then it is easy.

      I wear knee sleeves and don’t have bad knees.  I just don’t want bad knees

  16. This article is definitely helpful!

    I have known people who always tell me that they want to do crossfit but they are afraid of getting an injury, I always tell them, what they have to do is get advice with a professional trainer, and especially have the necessary care for the knees, dolls and elbows.

    Normally people who want and do it, most don´t take the necessary precautions and that’s why injuries arise, that’s why I say this post is very important because you help us to have everything clearly and how we should take care of ourselves at the moment to do it and the protections that we should use.

    No doubt I will follow your recommendations.

    Thanks for sharing it with us.

    • Thanks for the great comment and for stopping by.  Crossfit isn’t really dangerous.  It just has olympic lifting, body movements and gymnastic movements most people haven’t done before.

  17. Hi Stew, 

    Was discusssing your article with a friend of mine and the topic of the knee sleeves came up. We liked the point you made about keeping the knee warm during the workout.

    This is an ongoing issue not just during normal workouts but when he has to walk up and down stairs at work.

    We were wondering where you suggest buying one of those knee slieves? They look pretty streamline like they will fit under work coveralls.

    Do they need to be fitted or can it be ordered from somewhere online like Amazon?

    Thanks for your feedback,

    Have a great day!


    • They are compression and comfortable to wear under clothes and you buy large, medium or small depending on the make.  Amazon has a lot of them.

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