Whether you main choice of exercise is running, cycling, swimming triathlon strength training or beyond - you need cross training in your life. Cross training is training in more than one sport or form of exercise in order to improve fitness in your main sport and help prevent injury.
By performing a variety of exercises from different disciplines, you are asking more of your body than with a traditional, straightforward approach. Increased workload and variety lead to increased capability. In other words, by doing more with your body, your athletic and fitness levels have no choice but to grow.
Cross-training workouts aren’t tailored to a single goal, such as gaining strength or getting faster, but cater to these needs simultaneously. With cross-training, it’s possible to gain muscle, lose fat, increase cardio-aerobic capacity and quicken your feet - all in a single workout. This comprehensive style of fitness training is called CONDITIONING, and it’s one of the benefits of cross-training. Here’s how Cross Training can benefit you.
Often when we get injured in the gym, on the court, or on the field, it’s because they’re over doing a single activity. Whether it be running, squatting, cutting, or jumping, your body is easily worn down. Joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons throughout your body are under a tremendous amount of stress though repeated movement, and it’s important to give them the occasional break.
Active recovery is the practice of using an alternative type of training to recover from your primary training method. For instance, many professional athletes do swimming workouts and pool resistance exercises to actively recover from their on-field practices and traditional weight room training. In addition to the conditioning and injury preventing benefits of active recovery, it has been show to actually speed up recovery by increasing blood flow and the delivery of nutrients to stressed or damaged muscle tissue.
Try this sample cross-training workout to kick-start your new routine or break through a fitness or athletic plateau (cycle through the listed exercises in order 3 times and try to complete the workout with as little rest as possible):