Today, Saturday, August 24, 2019

The Endless Benefits of Cross-Training

Cross training is blending cardiovascular training, strength training, training for agility and flexibility into one multi-day workout program. This type of training is ultimately beneficial to anyone; however, it is extremely beneficial for professional athletes. Any serious athlete knows that overtraining the same muscles day in and day out only leads to injury and less successful performance.  Cross-training benefits are unlimited when it comes to athletes.

What are Cross-Training Benefits?
There are several primary benefits to be gained from cross-training:

        1. Improved body contour.  Mixing up training regimes helps to burn more calories per week. This creates a leaner, stronger athlete. For example: a runner who adds on one thirty minute cycling workout per week will lose an extra pound every few weeks. 

        2. Greater workout intensity. Cross-training helps to keep up the intensity of each workout, resulting in faster results, while the variety of methods helps prevent burnout. 

        3. Makes you a stronger athlete. Strength training adds general strength throughout the body.  Adding strength results in fewer muscles needed to perform an action. This helps to save energy, broaden your abilities and improve your skills at the primary activity in which you are focused on. Strength training has shown to improve skills and result in higher basketball jumps, increasing speeds of a baseball pitcher's throw and in the amount of saves accomplished in tennis. 

        4. Prevents injury and boredom. In regards to injury, it reduces the risk of repetitive injury such as tennis elbow, shin splints or tendonitis. Mixing up your workouts helps to lead you to greater health by avoiding plateaus and increasing overall strength and abilities.

What Types of Exercise Increase Cross-Training Benefits?
Yoga and pilates are effective in creating strong core mucles and flexibility. These will help to reduce injury, particularly those relating to the back or to pulled or torn muscles. Cardiovascular exercise involves running, swimming, cycling, stair-climbing, jumping rope, skating (ice or roller), power walking and elliptical training. Circuit training and plyometrics are great ways to strengthen your bones, increase cardio levels, build muscles and increase coordination.

Remember to vary your program not only weekly, but monthly as well. Change up your workouts. Alternate by day or by workout. For example, you can do running or fitness walking one day, strength training the next, cardio, yoga or elliptical training on other days of the week.  Time spent on each exercise can vary to help relieve boredom.  For example, 10 minutes of running, 30 minutes of strength training and 10 minutes of yoga stretching.

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