The Importance Of Cross Training
The importance of cross training. I’ve come across many athletes, of all walks of life, in my career as personal trainer and the one thing the most successful ones had in common was consistent cross training. I learned how important cross training is the hard way. After sustaining an extremely painful hamstring tear during a ballet performance, I was forced to find alternative methods of working out during my rehab and it worked so well that I never stopped.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CROSS TRAINING
Injury prevention. This one is fairly simple. If you are continuously using the same muscles in the same pattern over and over again (think running, tennis, basketball) then you are more prone to overuse injuries. Muscles get tired, your technique can get sloppy and before you know it, you’re injured. By cross training you are using and strengthening other muscles and giving the repetitive movements a rest. By reducing injuries, you will be able to train more frequently and efficiently thus making you stronger.
Improve your game. If you are always using the same muscles over and over again then it stands to reason that other muscles might be suffering. The best way to get stronger is to ensure that all of your muscles are working the way they were designed to work. If your muscles are firing in the correct order and the smaller ones are supporting the larger ones then you will be stronger, faster and an all round better athlete.
Rehabilitation. If you do get an injury then no-impact cross training is the perfect alternative to doing nothing. The first reason is that it will keep you active and moving instead of sitting on the couch. The second and probably more important reason is that it will help fix any muscles imbalances you may have.
Recovery. This one can be tough for anyone who enjoys a sport, but it’s necessary to consider. Just like you probably wouldn’t do arms several days in a row at the gym, your body needs a break between repetitive workouts like running. More and more, we hear about professional athletes in all sports who are taking up yoga and Pilates to help release tight muscles. When your muscles work properly, they recover more quickly.
Rekindle the passion. I remember returning from a short vacation and my teacher telling me that I was dancing better than before. Even if you are doing something you love, sometimes you just need time off. Go swimming, go hiking, try a new class or make a spa appointment.Whatever you choose, just give it a few days and you’ll surely be excited and refreshed when you return to your sport of choice.
The trick is to never let yourself get into a rut. When you change things up, shock muscles into activity and give them plenty of rest, you stand the best chance of becoming the athlete you want to be!
What do you love doing for cross training?