What Is Cross Training?
Cross training is a form of fitness training that combines different styles of exercise regimes to utilise the whole body. Cross training can include cardio exercises, strength training exercises and flexibility exercises to maximise your overall fitness. By cross training, you’ll be able to balance out your exercise routine to use all your muscle groups.
How Do You Cross Train?
By choosing a different form of exercise each day you train, or by mixing up your routine in one session you’ll be cross training. For example, on Mondays you might swim, on Tuesdays you might do strength training in the gym, and on Thursdays you might do Pilates. Or, you could swim for 30 minutes on one day, followed by a 40-minute Pilates class.
Another way to cross train is by changing up the equipment used in the gym that target different muscle groups – e.g. a leg exercise followed by an upper body one; a back exercise after a chest one.
What Are The Benefits Of Cross Training?
Cross training will improve your strength, flexibility, balance, cardiovascular system and aid weight loss or build muscle bulk, if desired. It can create balance and ensures you are working your whole body, either during your session or throughout the week.
By cross training you will reduce the boredom that comes with doing the same routine repeatedly, which helps improve attendance and motivation in participating in exercise. It also has social benefits, as you could opt to join a cross training class in the gym – as opposed to training by yourself on the gym floor.
Does Cross Training Reduce Injuries?
Another massive advantage of opting to cross train is how it can reduce the occurrence of injury. If your usual routine is to just go out for a run, then you may be leading yourself into the potential grounds of injury. If you do the same routine in every session, your muscles can become fatigued from not having enough rest or develop imbalances. These two factors can increase the risk of injury. By adding other types of exercise to your routine you can allow rest days from a repeated exercise but still keep your fitness levels up.
What’s more, if you are recovering from injury, this is a great way to keep up your fitness. Cross training can compliment your rehabilitation programme and allow you to maintain your cardio fitness, strength and flexibility by training the parts of your body that are not injured.
Moreover, it’s a nice way to learn new forms of exercise which can develop new physical skills and add a challenge to your usual routine, not to mention make your fitness journey more enjoyable!