The Effect of CrossFit Training on Explosive Power, Endurance, Balance Control during Walking, Functional Movements, Quality of Life and Incidence of Injury among CrossFit Trainees - An observational pilot study

Hila Noga Perry1, Chen Rozenberg Stuart1, Yoav Gimmon1,2,*

1 Department of Physical Therapy, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Be’er Sheva, Israel
2 Laboratory of Vestibular NeuroAdaptation, Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Background: CrossFit is a new training method that combines high-intensity, functional movements. These days, about four million people practice it at official venues around the world.
Objectives: To examine the effect of CrossFit training on explosive power, endurance, balance control, quality of movements, quality of life, and incidence of injuries among practitioners. We hypothesized that all trainees would improve their performance and would not suffer from new injuries.
Population: A convenience sample of 21 students from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, who practiced the CrossFit method at least twice a week were recruited.
Methods: Observational pilot study. Participants were assessed pre and post 12 weeks of biweekly CrossFit training. Assessments included Jump and Reach Test, Progressive Shuttle Run Test, the Narrow Path Walking Test (NPWT), the Functional Movement Screen test (FMS). Quality of life measures were assessed using the SF-36 questionnaire, and incidence of injuries was assessed by completing a questionnaire designed specifically for this purpose.
Results: During the 12-week  period, 4 of the 21 participants dropped out of the study. Wilcoxon signed-rank test revealed a significant improvement in equilibrium, functional movements and quality of life. No improvement was found in explosive power or endurance. No injuries were reported.
Discussion and conclusions: Daily tasks require maintaining balance and perform qualitative functional movements, needed for executing these tasks successfully, as well as for maintaining a high level of quality of life. These areas can be improved with CrossFit training. Contrary to common belief in the general population, injuries related to CrossFit training are low compared to that of other sports.
Key words: CrossFit, Training effect, Injuries, Balance control, Quality of life
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