Mayo Clinic Study says H.I.I.T workouts are not more likely to cause injuries

Alice Keefe
Created: December 27, 2019 08:48 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- With the New Year around the corner, many people are thinking about those New Year's Resolutions and health goals tend to top the list.

High-intensity interval (H.I.I.T.) workouts have become increasingly popular over the last few years.  Mayo Clinic wanted to find out if people who do these boot camp-style workouts are more likely to get injured than those who do less intense workouts.


“Just short little bursts of workouts. We’re working in burst training, so we’re trying to go for 90 percent of your heart rate max by doing that. You’re just going to consume more oxygen at rest and burn more calories at rest for the next like 72 hours,” said Leyton Bohr, head trainer at Burn Boot Camp in south Rochester.

Burn Boot Camp is just one gym that specializing in offering the fast-paced group workouts that are becoming increasingly popular for all ages.

“People really seem to like these classes. There’s social engagement, they like the social aspect of it as well as just motivating, just meeting with a group together to get moving, and that’s great. We need to get people moving,” said Dr. Edward Laskowski, co-director of Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine and author of the study.

For six weeks, the study tracked 100 participants. “What we found, a statistically insignificant trend toward a little bit of increased injury in these types of classes, but it really wasn’t that significant. Most people had very similar injury patterns to how they exercised before they entered these types of programs,” Laskowski said.

Most injuries that occurred were in the knees, from exercises like squats and burpees.   Bohr said there are ways to minimize injuries both during and after workouts, like exercising on a softer surface and modifying your workout as needed.

“Just stretching, foam rolling, flushing out muscles it doesn’t have to be 10 to 15 minutes of you stretching, just set a timer on your phone or your watch for two minutes and that’ll go a long way,” Bohr said.

More than 80 percent of the study’s participants were women. The study found for every 1,000 training hours there were nine injuries, compared to five injuries during a less intensive workout.

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