Cross-training is a kind of training involving two or more sports to help improve fitness and performance. Any athlete is prone to having injuries most especially if the kind of training that she is going through may not be appropriate to what she really needs or may have worn out her muscles from too much working out.
Cross-training helps build strength and flexibility that a single type of training may not be able to completely provide. It also kills the boredom out of simply doing the usual training routine. More and more players from different sports are already incorporating cross-training with their routine because they have seen the impact that it does to their performance.
Cross-training should not only involve wanting to increase your fitness and capabilities but also to be aware of how to prevent injuries. Athletes should not only be focused on improving their skills or agility but also to be cautious with their physical health, most especially after a competition.
Benefits of Cross-Training
Athletes may come to point wherein they feel that no matter how hard they train, changes are no longer evident. Hitting a plateau is perfectly normal.
To be able to surpass that phase, there is a need to modify the usual training technique used, and incorporating other kinds of training may be the best solution. Athletes are able to reinvent themselves by combining different disciplines into one great routine to help them perform better on their respective fields of sports.
Here are some of the advantages of engaging in cross-training:
- With cross-training, you can include different disciplines to increase your fitness level. The conditioning type of cross-training involves increase in muscle mass, loss of unwanted fat, improvement in cardio capacity, and also faster feet movement – all in a single workout.
- Continuous training may wear out muscles, tendons and ligaments, and this may cause injuries due to the amount of stress from working out too much. With cross-training, you are able to strengthen other parts of your body and help the injured parts to rest. It makes an athlete become healthier and more complete.
How to start cross-training
Before going all out and trying out your first cross-training experience, you may need to study up on best practices. One good way of getting valuable information would be websites like runningstats.com that focus on helping athletes and running enthusiasts.
Here are some of the best cross-training options for runners:
Biking can be a very effective form of training for runners. Through biking, the body is able to do more work with less stress on the body because it enhances cardiovascular fitness, thereby promoting better circulation of blood to the lower limbs.
Replace two sessions of your running activity with an hour of bike sessions at least twice a week to quicken your stride. Find a route that is mostly flat to allow balance of moderate resistance and quick motions at 90 RPM, which is equivalent to 180 steps per minute.
Swimming can be an alternative way for runners who want to improve their endurance. About 20-40 minutes of swimming, twice a week can be beneficial.
What makes cross-training successful is its potential to not only improve physical strength and endurance, but also boost the immune system. Added to that, cross-training makes workouts more fun!
Having the same kind of workout routine can be a bore, most especially if you notice that it’s getting more difficult to achieve your goal of strength and endurance. With the help of cross-training, you should be able to enjoy your next exercise routine while getting the exact same results.