Avoiding Injury When Doing High Intensity Interval Training

doing intense exercise trainingHigh Intensity Interval Training or (HIIT) is one of the trendiest fitness choices for workout enthusiasts these days. But know it can be hit or miss if done wrong. HIIT is a series, a form of exercises which alternates between short bursts of activity which are high intensity, with short periods of rest.

There’s compounding evidence that HIIT is a superior exercise method for losing fat while increasing endurance. It’s a muscle building machine, which improves aerobic and anaerobic endurance, while increasing basal metabolic rate.

HIIT has recently surged in popularity as the premier fitness process of choice, being ranked as the best method to getting fit. As a result, fitness professionals along with the medical community are recommending this training for their patients and clients.

Doing so consistently and properly has proven to provide significant health and fitness benefits. HIIt can also be performed safely for those who has had previous back or neck damage, even surgery.

There is certain caution however if not performed properly, as doing the exercises wrong can potentially lead to injury. Because of its intensity, it does come with warning if done wrong. So what’s recommended is knowing and avoiding the following signs of injury.

Avoiding Back Pain
During or after the HIIT workout, the most common reason for back pain is too much strain on the ligaments, tendons, and the muscles in the surrounding area.

Most often, the pain will subside after resting for a short period of time, or by taking anti-inflammatory supplements. But if it lingers, the back pain can be more serious.

If there’s injury to the disc between the bone and the lumbar spine, it can potentially create disc tears or herniation, this resulting in back along with leg pain.

The injury and disabling pain, can at times be immediate or progress over time. This injury can occur when the flexion of the spine, places too much load on the disc, this by sudden movement from dead-lifts or snatches.

There are a variety of exercises that’s performed in the HIIT training regimen, which can stress the spine, causing injury if performed incorrectly.

Feeling Shoulder Pain
The most common complaint when doing HIIT exercises is shoulder pain, this usually caused by shoulder impingement syndrome, leading to possibly a rotator cuff tear.

The impingement is the result of inflammation to the tendons that’s surrounding the rotator cuff in the shoulder area. Common signs include pain in the side of the arms, or in front of the shoulders.

Symptoms include pain when attempting overhead lifting. The shoulder pain can become persistent after the exercise. If there’s rapid or forceful movement of the arms, this when above the shoulder joint, can create an injury of the labrum and at times result in a tear of the biceps.

This then results in pain with overhead lifting techniques, forcing the shoulder joint to feel like it’s going to ”pop out,” while losing strength and motion.

Treatment is based on strengthening the surrounding muscles, which can eliminate the pain. The same series of HIIT exercises which can create impingement syndrome, can also potentially create a rotator cuff tear, which is much more serious.

Experiencing Neck Pain
Similar to back pain, sprains in the ligaments, muscles, or the tendon area in the neck, accounts for the majority of the injuries which can develop following HIIT workouts. Most can be cured with rest.

If can become more serious however, such herniation of the disc to the joints of the cervical spine. The symptoms include chronic headaches, neck pain, pain in the shoulder blades, or pain in the arms and hands.


The cause of this can be overhead lifting along with exercises which places heavy strain on the neck while in a flexed position, which are usually the most common reasons behind neck injuries.

Elbow Pain
Another common HIIT related workout injury is in the elbows, which is known as medial epicondylitis (golfers elbow) or lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow). These are most often a result of overuse or poor technique, along with inflexibility or muscular imbalance.

Golfer’s elbow is pain on the inside bump of the elbow. The pain will increase when making a fist, or by gripping and then applying pressure over the middle of the elbow.

Tennis elbow is pain on the outside bump of the elbow. The pain elevates when gripping, lifting, or opening the fingers while applying pressure to the outer elbow. Micro tears that’s in the tendon can progress, eventually becoming disabling.

Both of these conditions can lead to injury while becoming progressive when doing daily activities, resulting in a pain that’s dull and chronic. These injuries, even if treated properly, can at times take many months to heal.

Chronic Knee Pain
The most common when it comes to anterior knee pain, this following HIIT exercises is patellar tendonitis, which is also known as jumper’s knee.

This involves patellar tendon inflammation, which is the connection between the kneecap and the tibia. Exercises such as squats, jumping, lunges, and running can potentially lead to this type of injury.

This condition can progress causing severe limitation in continuing all HIIT exercise routines, as well as interfering with daily activity. Muscular imbalance is usually a factor, this when increasing force on the patellar tendon.

Once there’s persistent pressure and stress that’s placed on the tendon, tears can develop and then progress further.

To Avoid Potential Muscle Injury
What’s recommended is if you’re experiencing any of these bodily symptoms while performing HIIT exercises, consult with your medical or fitness adviser before continuing the exercise routine.
NOTE: This is strictly information and not medical advice.

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