They are the exercise regimes rigorously followed by fitness fanatics searching for the perfect body.

But shocking figures reveal “explosive exercises” in high-intensity sessions have fuelled a four-fold increase in agonising injuries.

A warning has been issued that young people pushing themselves to the limit are propelling themselves towards 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.

He is blaming this on the high-intensity workouts and exercise programmes which people are juggling with their increasingly busy lives.

They include instructed fitness programmes and the adoption of indoor cycling among people of all levels of fitness and ability, he says.

He added: “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.”

Some of the popular training regimes, which can be performed at gyms or at home, can consist of a range of repetitive aerobic exercises, body weight exercises, weightlifting and gymnastics which are performed in 30-minute to hour-long workouts.

He added: “I now see patients under 30 who have the types of bone and joint injuries we would previously have expected to see in people in their late 50s and 60s, with around a quarter requiring surgical intervention.”

He urged people to take-up more moderate workouts with adequate rest days, while people with established joint problems should and adopt low-impact exercises such as swimming and cycling and said: “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.”

Oliver Tuson, an armed forces veteran who has set up his own fitness training company, said many young people are taking up intense weightlifting regimes before their bodies are adequately prepared to take the loads and many others put their muscles and joints in danger by 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.”