Sport and fitness coaches and fitness experts are warning that a rise in the number of athletes participating in elite-level competitions may result in injuries.
According to the latest data from the Association of International Athletics Federations, there were 9,972 individual competitions in 2016, up from 8,926 in 2015.
The association estimates that over the course of the year 2,500 athletes have been injured in international competitions, with the number rising to 3,898 in 2017.
The latest figures also suggest that the number is likely to continue rising, with 2,532 incidents of injury occurring in 2018, up by 12 per cent compared to 2017.
This means the number will rise by nearly 50 per cent in 2020.
In a bid to prevent this, the IAAF has been introducing an increase in incline pull-ups and push-ups, along with the incline-pull-up and incline–push-up drills used in many elite events.
A spokesperson for the IFA told ESPN: “We know that incline training has been shown to increase a athlete’s risk of injury.”
The spokesperson said the sport was being encouraged to use its experience and the latest trends to help the sport to keep pace with the ever-changing fitness trends.
This year’s International Athletics Federation World Championships are taking place in Spain, and the IAA has said it is looking at the impact of incline pulling and pushing on the sport.
In addition, the USOC has been working on a push-up protocol, which involves pushing your body to a high intensity by pushing your chest up and up.
“The push-in has been introduced as a more targeted exercise for training in recent years and the push-out has been the same as in past years, with a greater emphasis on upper-body endurance and speed,” the spokesperson said.
The IAAF have already launched an exercise called the “Elite Push-Up” that is designed to increase upper-limb strength, improve flexibility, improve muscle hypertrophy and reduce the risk of lower-body injuries.
There are also plans to introduce more push-throughs and pushups.
“Push-ups have become an important component in elite competitions and will continue to be so, with new research suggesting that the more pushup performed, the greater the athlete’s benefit from training,” the IBA spokesperson added.
In an attempt to keep the sport on track with these trends, the Wada World Anti-Doping Agency has recently proposed the introduction of a new rule for athletes that requires them to stay within 10m of a fence when performing a pull-up, push-down or incline.
This new rule would mean that any pull-down in a competition would need to be performed in the same spot for the same distance as the competitor who is performing the pull-in.
“We are taking action to improve our athletes’ physical fitness in the context of a world where many athletes are increasingly participating in sports where the benefits are more pronounced than ever before,” the WADA spokesperson said in a statement.
“This means that athletes are required to stay in the proper position when performing the push and pull-outs.”
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