Cross Training Explained
Cross training is a training routine that involves several different forms of exercise. Cross training conditions different muscle groups, develops a new set of skills, and reduces boredom. Cross training allows you to be able to vary the stress placed on specific muscles or even your cardiovascular system. Cross training also reduces the risk of injury from repetitive strain or overuse.
Cross training is easily confused with “circuit training.” Because variation is key to cross training, it's easy to confuse it with the rotating workouts involved in "circuit training." But experts say the two aren't necessarily the same. Circuit training is just doing one exercise after another, but that doesn't always ensure that the routine is incorporating strength training, cardio, flexibility and balance. For true cross training you must utilize many activities to ensure complete fitness gains.
Cross training can be beneficial to athletes of all levels, and to athletes in many different types of sports.
- Cross training conditions the entire body, not just specific muscle groups
- Cross training produces a higher level of all around conditioning
- Cross training can reduce the risk of injuryby preventing overuse, and also strengthening supporting muscle groups
- Cross training can continue to train while injured
- Cross training can improve your skill, agility and balance
- Cross training can reduce exercise boredom
- Cross training can provide fitness traininf flexibility. If the gymis closed, you can go for a run instead.
What exercises should make up a good cross training routine?
- Cardiovascular Exercise(Think about adding three different exercises from the list below):
- Stair Climbing
- Rope jumping
- Skating (inline or ice)
- Racquetball / basketball / other court sports
- Strength Training
- Free Weights
- Tubing and Bands
- Calisthenics (push ups and crunches and pull ups)
- Flexibility (stretching, yoga, pilates)
- Speed, agility, and balance drills
- Circuit training
Best Way to Achieve Cross Training
Cross Training for Particular Sport or Fitness Activity
There are specific activities that make up an ideal cross training routine. For people devoted to a particular sport or fitness activity, there are specific activities that make up an ideal cross training routine. For example:
- If running has been your only activity, your cross training routine for overall better fitness would include strengthening exercises for the pelvis and hips, as well as weight workouts to build the upper body.
- If you've been doing only weight lifting regimens, you would add a cardio workout to your regimen.
Cross training doesn't require specific exercises. For people who are simply looking get the most out of their workout time, cross training doesn't require specific exercises. In fact, as long as you create variation in your activity, you're cross training!
Cross train by varying what you do from session to session. Cross Training can also mean performing a single type of workout during each session, but varying what you do from session to session. You can concentrate on cardio during one session, strength training and balance in another, and flexibility in still another. Then just keep mixing up the combinations so your body has variety.
You don't even have to do a specific workout to get the effects of crossing training. Experts say you don't even have to do a specific workout to get the effects of crossing training if you live a varied and physically active life.
Cross training is doing two or more different types of exercises during a single workout session. A cross training example would be doing a Pilates or yoga class which incorporate the components of strength development and flexibility in the same workout session, while an indoor cycling class will develop the muscles in the legs while improving aerobic capacity.
Vary cross training activities between aerobic conditioning, strength training, endurance, and balance. To vary activities between aerobic conditioning, strength training, endurance, and balance you need to vary the workouts that emphasize each one of those areas.
Cross training for optimal success. For optimal success plan two to three days of flexibility and strength training, and three to five days of aerobic focus. But don't worry if you don't have that much time to devote to exercise.
Bottom Line on Cross Training
Cross training strengthens the muscles, bones, joints, cardiovascular system, improves flexibility, balance and coordination and reduces body fat. By using the cross training technique you can get better results and with fewer injuries.