Doctors Warn of Crossfit Dangers - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

Doctors Warn of Crossfit Dangers

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) - It's an exploding exercise phenomenon that has people all over the country pushing themselves to the limit.

It's called crossfit, an extreme exercise program that works your entire body. But is the extreme program for everyone?  And what are the risks?

Lindsey Burnette and Ryan Bauer opened their crossfit gym last year in chesterfield.

Every day, hundreds of all shapes and sizes show up and in a strict program, they work, sweat and push their bodies to the extreme.

"If you can do an air squat, you can do a push up, a pull-up or some variation of those movements you're basically doing everything that crossfit requires, Bauer says.

But those requirements can be tough - especially if you're out of shape.

"You gotta know what's your level of fitness, what your level of flexibility is," says sports medicine physician Dr. Doug Cutter, who sees people every week who have hurt themselves doing crossfit.

"You name it... calf pulls, hamstring strains, quad strains, some fractures, really bad ankle injuries."

Cutter says in most cases, these injuries can be prevented but you have to slowly work your way into a new program.

"If you've been a couch potato for months or years and then you jump in and do these things, that's a big shock to your system," Cutter says.

"Anybody should be able to do it if it's taught right done right," Bauer says.

And doing it right is the key. Reputable crossfit trainers should train with you at your pace and if you take is slow, the program will likely work.

"It's not unrealistic to think that people can come in here after sitting on a sofa and get fit. They just have to take it slow," Burnette says.

As with any exercise program, doctors say listen to your body, know your limits and don't push it.

"It truly is up to that person, their strengths, and it's all relative to that person," Burnette says.

More than 10,000 crossfit gyms are expected to be open nationwide by the end of the year.

Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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