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Benefits of Cross Training

August 7, 2019 by

Cross-training is a bit of a buzzword in the athletic community, but it has been around for decades. It is an important thing to do when it comes to exercising, whether you tend to turn to light yoga for exercise or if you are a regular marathoner.

The good things is, you are probably already cross-training in some way, even if you don’t realize it. Almost everyone cross-trains, because it simply refers to training with a variety of kinds of exercise. People typically have their “go-to” workout, but then have other activities that they enjoy doing.

However, you can’t just start a new workout without setting goals. The key to getting the benefits of cross-training is to consider your exercise goals and what types of added exercises will complement them. Here, we will talk about what cross-training is, how it can help you, and how you should be doing it.

What is cross-training?

Cross-training has a loose definition, but it encompasses a variety of randomized training models, regardless of their level of difficulty. It recently regained its popularity with the introduction of CrossFit, which not only gave cross-training a style, but also a brand. However, CrossFit comes with the connotation that cross-training only involves high-intensity workouts.

However, cross-training doesn’t have to be so intense. It is really just about doing a variety of workouts together that will complement and support each other. This may mean mixing Pilates in with your marathon training or adding some swim sessions to your routine boot camp classes.

Practicing cross-training can benefit you in a variety of ways. First, it will make you a more well-rounded athlete. It can help increase your endurance, power, strength and speed. All of these things will help you in any sport and in your daily life. Also, doing a variety of exercises will keep you from getting burned-out or bored in the gym. And, cross-training may allow you to stop going to physical therapy, as athletes who only do one sport have an 85% greater chance of experiencing an injury than those who participate in a variety of activities.

The best and easiest types of cross-training exercises involve doing a workout that combines cardio and weightlifting into one session, which will make your workouts more efficient. However, it is important to keep in mind what you want to get out of your cross-training routine. The best types of cross-training exercises are the ones that offer the most variety, but also the ones that fit your unique needs and goals. If you are trying to train for a marathon, the best type of cross-training for you will not look the same as that of a person who dedicates themselves to the yoga mat every day. Think about meeting up with a personal trainer to discuss your goals and the best methods of reaching them.

As far as how often you should practice cross-training, try to do it a few times a week. This really depends on how long it takes your body to recover. So, if you are young, eat a healthy diet, and are able to get sufficient sleep, you will be able to cross-train more often than someone who is not as naturally healthy.

People often turn to cross-training to avoid injury from overuse, however, it is still possible to become injured during a cross-training session. You still have to practice with care and do the workouts in moderation. Also, if you cross-train too much, you won’t be able to obtain proper form in your exercises because you will keep switching around to different activities.

So, instead of doing something completely new every day, pick a few routines that vary the muscles that you are working and stick with them on a regular basis. Once you get tired of your current cross-training routine, you can start to adapt to new exercises. Try to pick two activities at a time to go between– don’t try to do five different types of exercise in one week. Instead, keep your main activity and add one that you can master and make it into a complementary workout a few times each week. Be careful to not start a new exercise too quickly without learning the proper way to do it to avoid injury.

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