HIIT blamed for an increase in injuries

High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT) has become the go-to exercise plan for many in recent years, but a new study has uncovered the injury risks that this way of working out presents.

A study at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in the US found that HIIT is responsible for a growing number of injuries and ailments among its followers.

Analysing records in America’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System between 2007 and 2016, the study found that nearly four million injuries could be related to HIIT exercises. That is, they occurred when using equipment such as kettle bells, boxes and barbells, or during exercises like burpees or lunges often associated with the HIIT way of improving fitness.

The study discovered that these types of injuries increased in frequency at the same rate in which HIIT grew more popular.

Of course, there is nothing to suggest that personal trainers or fitness coaches should not put forward HIIT regimes for their clients. Other research has found that exercising in this way is a more effective way to burn calories and build up a stronger heart.

One size doesn’t fit all

However, what the scientists behind this latest study are urging is that personal trainers look at a more bespoke approach to HIIT.

“These workouts are marketed as a ‘one size fits all’. However, many athletes, especially amateurs, do not have the flexibility, mobility, core strength and muscles to perform these exercise,” Joseph Ippolito, one of the physician’s behind the report suggests.

Therein lies the actionable findings. Personal trainers must do more to build a workout regime around their clients, as opposed to simply providing an off-the-shelf structure for all of their customers.

By speaking to their clients, discovering their relative strengths, weaknesses and goals, fitness professionals can develop programmes that will provide the most efficient way to a person’s goal without increasing the risk of injury.

What happens when a client’s injured?

It is not a given that by forming a bespoke routine for a client, you remove the risk of injury. Even more, what you deem to be the right way of exercising for one person may transpire to be incorrect.

If a client was to suffer an injury after a routine or workout set by you, they could lay the blame on their personal trainer. If that PT is deemed to have provided negligent advice, that client could opt to sue. This is where Personal Trainer Insurance comes into play. Having professional indemnity protection will ensure that PTs are not liable for the costs if they are sued in this scenario.

Ultimately, the avoidance of injury in the first place is what all fitness professionals should be aiming for.

The removal of HIIT isn’t the answer, but according to the latest study, PTs must be more aware of the different demands of their range of clients.