Powerlifting Injury Rate Comparison

Powerlifting along with the other strength sports of Weightlifting and Strongman have a reputation of being dangerous. However, when you look at comparable injury rates across different sports, the rates of injury in Powerlifting are low in comparison.

Powerlifting injury Rate Comparison

When injury rates are expressed per hour of activity, risk of injury can be ranked by sport. So as can be seen in the chart above Powerlifting, compared to other popular sports has a much lower rate of injury.

But you may now be asking how these rates of injury can be further reduced ? There are three main areas which can assist in reducing injury rates in Powerlifting.

1. Lack of Warm-Up

Advanced trainees know the muscles must be warm, and the movements practised before the big plates can be added. This step is often ignored by novices or the poorly coached. Integrating a warm-up into training sessions and prior to competition lifts can reduce the rate of injury.

2. Lifting Above Your Capabilities

This one is obvious. It most commonly occurs in the lifts where the body is placed between the bar and the floor or bench. If your strength fails, you’ve got problems. The obvious solution is to avoid going over your limit in the lift, especially outside a rack and also especially without spotters. Don’t let ego get the better of you.

3. Lack of Proper Technique

The other two causes can be fixed immediately. This will take more time. There is a right and wrong way to do any lift, even the single-joint ones. For those one can learn proper technique in any good weight-training book. Multi-joint lifts need personal coaching  especially in your novice period.

Fixing all of these issues will greatly decrease your injury rate. All of these are usually the provinces of novices. At any given date, most trainees in local gyms across the country will be novices.


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Sports Medicine Australia Sports Fact Sheets
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J Strength Cond Res. 2006 Aug;20(3):672-81. Retrospective injury epidemiology of one hundred one competitive Oceania power lifters: the effects of age, body mass, competitive standard, and gender.
Sports Med. 1992 Nov;14(5):320-35. Running injuries. A review of the epidemiological literature.

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