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Men suffer from different fitness injuries than women

Although the awful YouTube clips of gym fails, in which men suffer endless excruciating accidents, may give a different impression, men and women are equally likely to incur injuries from doing strength training, according to researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Cincinnati. But men incur different types of injuries than women.

The researchers used data on men and women aged between 14 and 30, collected between 2002 and 2005 by American hospitals for the US Consumer Product Safety Commission [CPSC]. [] The data provided information on accidents and injuries incurred by 3102 men and 611 women.

The reason that there are five times more men than women in the CPSC database, according to the researchers, is because more men do weight training than women.

"This disparity is likely a reflection of the lower number of females participating in resistance training activities, rather than to females suffering injuries 'less often' than males during resistance training", the researchers write.

Men incur injuries from overdoing it. They strain and tear muscles and tendons noticeably more often than women, especially in their shoulders, chest and back. This is probably because men tend to train with too heavy weights, the researchers suspect.

Among the women, injuries are usually the result of accidents, such as dropping weights. For this reason women injure their lower limbs more often than men do.

The researchers describe this discovery as being "of particular concern". They conclude that women often don't know how to handle weights and machines.

Overall the researchers think that both men and women could do with better supervision in gyms. Instructors should give men better advice on optimal training intensity and they should teach women better basic training techniques.

Men suffer from different fitness injuries than women

Men suffer from different fitness injuries than women

J Strength Cond Res. 2009 Oct;23(7):2061-7.

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