Best complimentary activity for your workout. A while back I wrote a post about the Importance of Cross Training (which you can read here) and in it, I mentioned some of the reasons why it’s so important to try other sports and activities and not just stick to one all the time. Some of the reasons are: it prevents injury, helps your recovery, acts like rehabilitation, improves your game (think football players who take dance classes) and it can even rekindle the love of your sport. So now it’s time to take a look at what sports and activities compliment each other best.
BEST COMPLIMENTARY ACTIVITY FOR YOUR WORKOUT
Swimmers. While swimming is a fantastic total body workout engaging your cardiovascular system and giving your resistance training, it is also a non weight bearing exercise. Since it doesn’t help improve your bone strength, it’s important to incorporate some impact exercises like walking or running. In addition, swimmers need to work their small supporting muscles with tools like stretch bands or stability balls.
Cyclists. Since your hips are set in a flexed position when you ride, getting off your bike to do some yoga every now and then is a good idea. It will help to open up your hips, chest and shoulders. For an increase in endurance, try anaerobic exercises like weight training or low impact but high intensity cardio like an elliptical or stair climbing machine.
Runners. You are used to pounding the pavement, so try something a little different like kick boxing which will not only work your cardio but will also help to strengthen your muscles and give you lateral patterning. For a non impact workout, Pilates is a great choice as it will strengthen your supporting muscles while giving the major ones a rest.
Golfers. Golf has a very unique set of movement patterns that require flexibility and strength in movement. The good news is that both Yoga and Pilates can help, as they work on rotation flexibility that has to have power. In fact, as a Pilates instructor, we are taught exercises that were specifically geared toward golfers and tennis players (see below).
Tennis players. This is a fairly high impact sport, so it’s best to cross train with lower impact activities. Yoga and Pilates will be of help for flexibility and stability. Exercises like swimming will be great for strengthening your overhead swings and serve.
Yogis. Since yoga mainly focuses on strength and flexibility, it’s a good idea to add some cardio as a complementary workout. Try going for a run or jump on bike. Most importantly, don’t forget to add some weight training, especially for your upper body, as this will help greatly when you are holding poses.
Gym rats/HIIT enthusiasts. You spend a lot of time weight lifting and doing high intensity bursts of cardio and that’s fantastic, but to balance it out, you need to do to some steady state (lower intensity) cardio. Get outside and go for a jog.
I personally have found that running has helped my dancing considerably. I used to get very winded after jumps and while they are still cardio intensive, I found that my stamina has increased greatly. Pilates was my exercise of choice after my hamstring injury, but I’ve continued with it because it keeps my body balanced and works on strengthening my supporting muscles, while giving the big ones a break and of course, it helps with muscle patterning (the correct muscles kick in, in the correct order).
images courtesy of DollarPhotoClub
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