Whether you’re training for a specific event or just want to improve your overall wellbeing, incorporating cross training into your workout routine can give you the edge you want.
This type of exercise can help you focus on your fitness goals and prepare you in ways you may not have expected. It can help you for a variety of goals or events, such as participating in a 5K, triathlon, weightlifting tournaments, swim meets, or any other similar event.
Cross training will help you overcome the performance plateaus that often come with training for these events. It also helps reduce your chances of injuries and helps break up the monotony that comes with training. These are just a few benefits that cross training can give you. The following is a deep dive into why you should include it in your regular workout regimen.
What Is Cross Training?
Cross training is an approach to working out that incorporates a variety of exercises and sports.
It can add running, strength training, swimming, or other exercises into your workout routine. These activities will either be added to your workout or replace something in your regime.
You may even incorporate a machine known as a cross trainer that combines cardio with an upper body workout. You don’t need to go to the gym to do this; you can buy affordable cross trainers for the home instead.
So without further ado, here are some of the benefits of cross training.
When you perform a range of exercises, you’re demanding more from your body than the usual approach you may go with. This greater variety and workload increase your body’s endurance. And by going out of your comfort zone, your fitness and athletic level have no choice but to grow.
When you incorporate cross training, you aren’t doing the workout to reach a specific goal. After all, if you’re a swimmer who is adding running to their workout routine, you don’t care about shaving seconds off of your mile or increasing the distance you can run. You’re simply working on conditioning your body in new ways, building strength, and increasing your overall endurance.
Injuries tend to happen during exercise for two reasons: there was no warm-up, or you overdid it. Jumping, cutting, squatting, or running can easily wear at your muscles and joints over time. During these workouts, your body is under tremendous amounts of stress from the repeated movement. They need a break every now and again.
When adding variety into your exercise regime, you’re giving parts of your body a much-needed rest. Plus, you’re giving areas that you usually don’t focus on a chance to strengthen. Cross training allows you to be a healthier, more well-balanced athlete overall.
Active recovery is a way to recover from your primary method of training. A good example of this put into practice is football players doing pool resistance workouts and swimming exercises to actively recover from their time practicing with weights and on the field. Another benefit besides conditioning and preventing injuries is that it has been shown to increase blood flow and help heal damaged or stressed muscle tissue.
The Bottom Line
The essential benefits of cross training are the same whether you’re looking to train for competition or you’re simply seeking to improve your health. To try it, simply alternate between your normal exercises and some new ones that focus on areas you tend to ignore. Make these changes at least once a month to slowly incorporate them into your routine.
These workouts are designed to train your body in ways it’s not used to. It evens out muscular imbalances and strengthens any weaknesses you may have. It offers you a refreshing physical and mental break from workout monotony. After all, the most important thing in working out is achieving a happier and healthier you.