14 Common HiiT Injuries And How to Prevent Them

14 Common HiiT Injuries And How to Prevent Them

This article was written by Elise Burchett

HiiT injuries can be a real disappointment, putting a damper on your progress and possibly leading to long-term issues. But, if you know the common injuries and how to prevent them, you'll be better prepared to enjoy your HiiT adventure safely and effectively!

In this all-in-one guide, we'll dive into 14 of the most common HiiT injuries, their causes, and practical tips to avoid them

With this knowledge in your back pocket, you'll be ready to protect your body and stay on track with your fitness goals without being benched by pain or injury.

In this article:

  • Common HiiT Injuries
  • How to Prevent Common HiiT Injuries
  • Final Thoughts on HiiT Injuries
Let's go!

Common HiiT Injuries

Man doing handstand crossfitAs we mentioned in the intro, getting injured during HiiT is no fun… Let's take a look at some common injuries you might come across while crushing those workouts!

After all, being aware of these injuries can help you stay safe and keep making gains… Here's a quick rundown:

Wrist Strain

Wrist strains happen a lot in HiiT because of all those weight-bearing exercises and repetitive movements that really stress our wrists, like handstands, push-ups, cleans, and snatches. If we don't keep our form in check or push too hard without enough rest, we could end up with overworked wrist structures and possible strains or worse injuries.

Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is another common HiiT injury. It affects the tendons connecting our forearm extensor muscles to the lateral epicondyle (that bony bump on the outer part of the elbow). It's pretty common in HiiT because of all the repetitive, forceful gripping and lifting movements involving wrist extension, like pull-ups, rope climbs, and some barbell exercises (think cleans and snatches). These actions can really put a strain on those forearm extensor tendons, leading to inflammation, pain, and a dip in our performance.

Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is another common HiiT injury that involves—you guessed it—our Achilles tendon, which connects our calf muscles to the heel bone. In HiiT, high-impact and repetitive movements like box jumps, double-unders, and running can put a lot of stress on the Achilles tendon. Plus, if we suddenly crank up our training intensity or volume or don't stretch our calf muscles enough, we might be more prone to developing Achilles tendonitis.

Lower Back Strain

Lower back strains can crop up in HiiT due to poor lifting technique, muscle imbalances, or weak core strength. We often see lower back injuries connected to exercises that involve heavy lifting and hip hinge movements, like deadlifts, kettlebell swings, and Olympic lifts. If we don't keep our form on point or try to lift too heavy without being ready for it, we could end up straining our lower back muscles and ligaments. Ouch!

Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS)

ITBS is a common HiiT injury characterized by pain and inflammation in the iliotibial band, a thick band of connective tissue that runs along the outside of the thigh from the hip to the knee. In HiiT, ITBS can result from overuse and repetitive movements that stress the iliotibial band, such as squats, lunges, and running. Factors like muscle imbalances, poor biomechanics, and not enough flexibility can also contribute to the development of ITBS in HiiT athletes.

Patellar Tendonitis (Jumper’s Knee)

Patellar tendonitis, aka jumper's knee, is a common HiiT injury that involves inflammation and irritation of the patellar tendon, which connects the kneecap to the shinbone. This injury is prevalent in HiiT due to high-impact and explosive exercises that place significant stress on the knee joint, such as box jumps, squats, and plyometric movements. Not warming up enough, poor leg muscle flexibility, and sudden increases in training volume can also contribute to the development of patellar tendonitis.

Shoulder Rotator Cuff Tear

Shoulder rotator cuff tears are a common HiiT injury that can happen because of the demanding nature of the sport, which often involves high-intensity, overhead movements such as pull-ups, push presses, and snatches. These exercises can place significant strain on the rotator cuff muscles, and when combined with inadequate shoulder mobility, muscle imbalances, or poor technique, can lead to tears in the rotator cuff tendons. Not fun at all!


A hernia happens when an organ or tissue pokes through a weak spot in the surrounding muscle or connective tissue. In HiiT, hernias can result from excessive strain on the abdominal wall during exercises like heavy lifting, sit-ups, or crunches. Factors such as weak core muscles, poor lifting technique, or previous abdominal surgery can contribute to developing a hernia in HiiT athletes.

Herniated Disc

A herniated disc is another common HiiT injury that occurs when the soft, inner portion of an intervertebral disc pushes through a tear in the tougher, outer layer. In HiiT, this injury often results from improper lifting technique, excessive spinal flexion or extension, and repetitive stress on the spine during exercises like deadlifts, squats, and overhead presses. Weak core muscles, poor flexibility, and lack of spinal stability can also contribute to the development of a herniated disc in HiiT athletes.

Neck Injury

Neck injuries are pretty common in HiiT due to the intense nature of the sport and the variety of exercises that place stress on the cervical spine. Movements like handstand push-ups, overhead lifts, and kipping pull-ups can cause strain on the neck muscles and ligaments, leading to injury. Bad technique, muscle imbalances, and inadequate mobility can also contribute to the development of neck injuries in HiiT athletes.

Shin Splints (Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome)

Shin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, is a common HiiT injury characterized by pain and inflammation along the inner edge of the shinbone (tibia). In HiiT, shin splints often result from high-impact, repetitive movements such as running, box jumps, and double-unders. Factors like sudden increases in training volume, unsuitable footwear, and poor lower leg muscle flexibility can contribute to the development of shin splints in HiiT athletes.

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

Shoulder impingement syndrome is another common HiiT injury that occurs when the rotator cuff tendons or bursa get compressed and irritated within the narrow subacromial space. In HiiT, this injury is often associated with repetitive overhead movements like push presses, thrusters, and snatches. Poor shoulder mobility, muscle imbalances, and inadequate scapular stabilization can also contribute to the development of shoulder impingement syndrome in HiiT athletes.

Sprained Ankle

A sprained ankle is a common HiiT injury that involves the stretching or tearing of the ligaments that support the ankle joint. In HiiT, ankle sprains can occur during high-impact exercises like box jumps, running, and plyometric movements, as well as during dynamic exercises that require quick changes of direction. Factors such as poor ankle stability, unsuitable footwear, and weak supporting muscles can contribute to the development of sprained ankles in HiiT athletes.


Rhabdomyolysis is a serious condition that occurs when muscle tissue breaks down rapidly and releases a protein called myoglobin into the bloodstream, which can lead to kidney damage or failure. Although it’s fairly uncommon, in HiiT, rhabdomyolysis can result from intense, high-volume workouts that push the body to its limits, causing extreme muscle strain and damage. Dehydration, inadequate recovery, and pre-existing muscle weakness can also contribute to the development of rhabdomyolysis in HiiT athletes… So keep drinking that water!

How to Prevent Common HiiT Injuries

Woman stretching before crossfitAs you know, HiiT requires discipline and proper technique to avoid injuries that could affect your training and overall well-being… 

Now we know some of the most common injuries, it’s time to cover how to prevent them. 

Whether you're a seasoned HiiT athlete or just starting, this information will be valuable in helping you achieve your fitness goals while staying safe and injury-free! So, let's dive in and learn how to prevent those pesky HiiT injuries!

Warm-up and Stretch Properly

A proper warm-up and stretching routine can help get your muscles and joints ready for the intense workout coming their way. Focus on getting those major joints and muscles involved in HiiT exercises, like the shoulders, hips, and knees, all loosened up to lower the chances of getting hurt.

Improve Your Technique

Having the right technique is super important for preventing HiiT injuries. Work with a coach who knows their stuff to learn and sharpen the correct form for each move. Remember, it's all about quality, not just cranking out as many reps as possible.

Gradually Increase Training Intensity and Volume

Stay away from sudden increases in training intensity and volume that can lead to overuse injuries. Instead, progress your workouts gradually, giving your muscles, tendons, and ligaments time to adapt to the extra stress.

Strengthen Supporting Muscles

Add exercises that target the stabilizing muscles around your joints, like the rotator cuff muscles in your shoulders and the muscles surrounding your hips and knees. Strengthening these muscles can help protect your joints and lower the risk of injury.

Maintain Proper Flexibility and Mobility

Regularly do mobility and flexibility exercises to tackle any tightness or imbalances in your muscles and joints. This can help you dodge injuries by making sure your body moves smoothly and effectively during workouts.

Prioritize Recovery and Rest

Give your body the time it needs to recover and repair itself by scheduling rest days and using active recovery techniques, such as foam rolling and stretching. This can help you avoid overuse injuries and boost your overall performance.

Utilize Targeted Red Light Therapy

Targeted red light therapy can help prevent HiiT injuries by promoting muscle recovery, reducing inflammation, and improving joint health. Add red light therapy to your recovery routine to support tissue repair, ease pain, and enhance overall performance. We’ve written about this in detail in our article where we ask the question: Red Light Therapy Before Or After Workout?. In this article, we discuss the benefits and the science behind this breakthrough technology in terms of recovery!

Wear Appropriate Footwear

Invest in some sweet HiiT-specific kicks that provide the support, cushioning, and stability you need. The right footwear can help protect your feet and ankles during high-impact exercises and lower the chances of getting hurt.

Final Thoughts on HiiT Injuries

Man on assault bike crossfitHiiT is one intense, no-holds-barred sport that can lead to a bunch of injuries if you're not careful and sticking to the right techniques. But by getting familiar with the common injuries that HiiT can bring and taking steps to prevent them, you can cut down your risk of getting hurt and amp up your overall performance.

Make a habit of doing things like dynamic warm-ups, stretching, and targeted red light therapy to keep injuries at bay. Plus, don't forget to include strength and mobility exercises to help your body perform movements like a well-oiled machine. And, of course, remember to rest and recover so you don't end up with overuse injuries and can keep pushing your limits.

By keeping injury prevention and proper training techniques front and center, HiiT athletes can safely enjoy the ride and crush their fitness goals.

And if you're like the thousands of athletes that are worried about nagging injuries at the Open...

Then why not try the power of red light therapy! Incorporating targeted red light therapy into your recovery routine can help promote muscle repair, reduce inflammation, and prevent injuries.

And why not give our Move+ Pro a go? It’s a portable, at-home red light therapy device that you can use anywhere, whether at home or at the gym.

With it’s powerful medical-grade Lasers and LED diodes, you’ll get the perfect dose of red and near-infrared light to help speed up your recovery and keep you injury-free during your HiiT journey.

So, don't let injuries hold you back from achieving your fitness goals! With the help of the Move+ Pro and red light therapy, you can recover faster, perform better, and stay on top of your game!

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If you're interested in red light therapy and HiiT, you might like:

Elise Burchett

Elise Burchett

Job Title: Writer
Bio: Elise Burchett is a writer at Kineon.

About Kineon

Bringing the latest advancements in enhanced red light therapy for home use. Our mission is to get you back on your feet and moving pain-free.