Bootcamp – let’s do it right!

“Drop and give me twenty burpees!”

One would think this kind of order would scare most people off, but in fact, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a worldwide fitness trend. As the popularity of this style of training arises, so have the injury rates. However, this group style of training is here to stay so let’s do it right!

The human body is designed for activity. However given physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyles are on the rise many of us are probably not even aware of this. Technological advances have reduced the need for hard physical labour and consequently we are more susceptible to a range of health issues. It is this reduced level of baseline fitness that often predisposes someone to injury during initial high-intensity group/boot-camp style training.


Although for most people the benefits of exercises greatly outweigh the risks, there are some groups that need to be particularly careful.  Those at greatest risk are those who undertake vigorous exercise, change intensity suddenly, do excessive amounts of exercise, or have existing musculoskeletal injuries.

Common musculoskeletal injuries sustained during boot-camp training:

  • Shin splints: pain along the shins during jumping, running and propulsion exercises
  • Plantar fasciitis: pain along the arch of foot or heel
  • Patellofemoral syndrome: pain above, below or behind the knee cap
  • ITB syndrome: pain along the outside of the knee and outside lower thigh
  • Lower back injuries: pain in the lower back with lifting, bending and twisting
  • Wrist injuries: pain with weight-bearing or wrist movement
  • Muscle strains: sharp or pulling pain in muscles
  • Tendon injuries: pain near joints that warm up during exercise and worsen afterwards
  • Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS): dull muscular ache after unaccustomed and/or excessive exercise

Physiotherapists are the experts in management and treatment of muscular, joint, tendon and ligament pain. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms contact our friendly team to get you back to feeling and performing your best!


Being a group instructor is a challenging job. Creating programs that can be suited to large groups of varying fitness levels that are safe and effective is not easy. This is why it is so important that the client is aware of these simple injury prevention strategies:

  • Adequate technique and posture are essential. Five controlled repetitions are more effective and much safer than twenty-five fast and uncontrolled repetitions despite what your trainer may be screaming at you.
  • Relaxed and correct core activation will help stabilise and control the movement. The pelvic floor and lumbar multifidus muscles are important in protecting your back with loading.

Unsure of how to activate these muscles? Ask our friendly team for advice and education on correct activation and technique.

  • Controlling picking up/putting down weights is just as important as performing the exercise. Often people try so hard to maintain good form throughout the set, then as soon as the buzzer alarms they carelessly and subconsciously drop the weights which predispose them to injury.
  • Listen to your body. If you are run-down, tired, injured or ill do not train through it.
  • Avoid overtraining as your body needs adequate rest and recovery to perform at its best and to achieve optimum fitness and strength results.
  • Staying for the warm-down despite how rushed you may be. You have worked hard for forty-five minutes; allow your body to have five minutes to recover.
  • Remedial massage is great after high-intensity training to assist with muscle recovery and flexibility.

If you want to learn more, contact our friendly and approachable team at Physionorth on 4724 0768.

Written by Brianna O’Toole (Physiotherapist)