Young fitness fanatics doing “explosive exercises” have fuelled a four-fold increase in exercise-related injuries.
Shocking figures have revealed that young people participating in high-intensity sessions are heading for chronic conditions more common in older patients.
Surgeon Gorav Datta says he now sees 200 patients a year who are under 30 and suffering from hip and knee injuries and back problems, compared to around 50 just three years ago.
Gorav believes this is due to the recent popularity of high-intensity workouts, instructed fitness programmes and the adoption of indoor cycling among people of all levels of fitness and ability.
He said: “Over the past few years there has been a real expansion in the fitness market designed to meet the needs of young people with many conflicting priorities to contend with.
“Cult fitness regimes and the use of over-zealous personal trainers, all of which emphasise high-intensity, high-impact work, appeal to those who want to cram exercise into their hectic daily lives.
“The problem, however, is that these short and intense bursts and repetitions can wreak havoc with joints and, longer-term, lead to the need for surgery.”
He urged people to take-up more moderate workouts with adequate rest days, while people with established joint problems should adopt low-impact exercises such as swimming and cycling
He added: “The message for young people to avoid this predicament is to be careful not to over-train and to avoid some of the exercises and training regimes that can trash the joints.”
Personal trainer Oliver Tuson, an armed forces veteran who has set up his own business, said many young people are taking up intense weightlifting regimes but failing to warm up properly.
The 32-year-old former Royal Marines Commando said: “The health industry has grown and people are trying to copy what they see in glossy magazines.
“People should build up slowly and follow a structured regime from a professional who can assess their fitness.”