Skip to main content

How to Add Cross Training to Your Workouts

Time for a workout post. This time it is a guest post edited from here.


Dedicated training is something to be admired. Many athletes strive for the ability to get up and get out every single day whether it’s for a specific race or event or even, simply driven by a goal. Often that can mean adhering to a training plan based on both repetition and incrementally increased difficulty–monotony and overuse be damned.
But you may get hurt. Or plateau. Or experience a disruption in your training schedule. These can all be detrimental to accomplishing a goal. Then there’s also that inevitable boredom of doing the same training day in and day out. You swear that footprint on the trail was yours from yesterday.
Here, we’ll detail the science behind cross training, how to work it into your schedule, and some new exercises to try. Your main sport will thank us.
Simply put, cross training is training in another discipline in improve your main sport. The options are almost limitless–runners can strength train, swimmers can paddle board, cyclists can do yoga. The goal is to supplement your main sport with training that’s beneficial for certain muscles, movements, or even, your brain and mood.
Since a majority of injuries happen due to time dedicated to a single sport, cross training can help prevent injuries for the simple fact that it forces athletes to spend less time training singularly. Cross training doesn’t just maintain activity by reducing the risk for injury–it also can increase performance.
A study of 27 male runners were assigned one of three different resistance training regimens (in addition to their normal endurance training): heavy resistance, explosive resistance or muscle endurance training. In all three groups, running endurance performance increased.2The heavy-lifting group in particular saw improvements to high-intensity running characteristics, like sprinting at the end of the race.2
The benefits of cross training aren’t just physical; there’s also a potential mental benefit of switching it up. Mental fatigue can impact physical workouts–you may be less likely to workout knowing that you’re facing the exact same exercise every day. Especially if an athlete is in-season or training for a specific event, cross-training can provide an exciting challenge. It’s easy to be training heads-down; cross training can help you see the forest between the trees.

Implementing Cross Training

Divorce yourself from the idea that cross training takes away from your regular training schedule. While you’ll inevitably be spending time away from your sweetheart sport, absence makes the muscles grow stronger.
There are three main groups of cross training for endurance athletes: strength training, aerobic low-impact work and aerobic impact work, and each can be part of a cross training program.

Strength Training

Touching upon all major muscle groups is important for effective strength training.
Regardless of where you strength train, a full body workout will maximize the time you spend training. Consider hitting all the major muscle groups such as arms, chest, shoulders, back, core and legs (more on this later).

Aerobic Low-Impact Work

Probably the reason many athletes experiment with cross training: take stress off those weary joints and reduce injury risk.
Low-impact activities or no-impact workouts can be done two or three times as week. It’s easily implemented, as it can replace an active recovery day or even a harder workout day depending on the exercise; so for those who think they’re losing gains because of cross training, you may actually find yourself enjoying the cross training more than your main exercise.

Aerobic Impact Work

Maybe the reason you’re reading this article is because of too much aerobic impact work.
If you’re training, the amount of aerobic impact work will likely be higher (and may be your only focus during that training block). But in the off-season, or times when you’d like to give your body a break, aerobic impact work should be done once or twice a week. As a general rule, cross-training is meant to limit the impact on the body.
Typically, cross training is meant to offer your body a break from the impact it faces during regular training. You can play team games, train run, circuit train or do CrossFit as a cross training method, as the impact is likely different from your normal routine. But be mindful: any impact work still puts strain on the body.

The Importance of Rest

Before getting into the specific exercises to try, remember the need for rest. Your muscles are asking for it.
The goal of every training session is to break down muscle and without recovery, a portion of that work might be wasted. During recovery, the body begins the process of rebuilding what has been broken down.
Muscle protein synthesis can increase by as much as 50% in the hours after a workout, helping encourage muscle growth.4 Concurrently, muscle fibers are rebuilt. These processes are a normal part of exercise, and recovery allows the muscles to become stronger. Fluid restoration is also key, as it helps deliver nutrients to organs and muscles through the bloodstream. And acids (via that hydrogen proton associated with lactate) accumulate during workouts–so recovery provides time for the body to restore intramuscular pH and blood flow for oxygen delivery.

Cross Training Exercises

Now is the time to incorporate cross training workouts. The exercises below touch on several different areas of exercise, from strength training to both low-impact and impact aerobic activities.
You can begin by folding in some additional exercises to your existing workouts. Runners may try hills or cyclists may try 30 second sprints–this isn’t cross training exactly, it’s just extra training. The benefits of cross training come with learning something new and focusing on different areas of the body that regular training can neglect.
Try working some of these exercises into your routine. It’s important to pick which is best for your personal needs.

A cyclist riding through the city with the benefits, concerns and ways to try cycling beneath him.





This article was written by Nate Martins.

Hope you enjoyed this post,

Jennikatja


Coming up:

💗 My Christmas
💗The Healthy Habits of Healthy People
💗Detox: Heal Your Gut
💗Self Care Series Part 3
💗15 Tips How to Heal Your Gut Microbiome 


Comments

Popular posts

I Quit Drinking Coffee and it Changed My Life

The U.S.Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says about 80 percent of U.S. adults take some form of caffeine every day. Accordingly, coffee is one of the most commonly used ingredients in the world. But caffeine does so much more than just keeping you awake.It’s a central nervous system stimulant that affects your body in numerous ways. So, let's talk about this and why drinking coffee might not be good for for you. While there has been numerous studies about the benefits of coffee, such as it increases alertness, lowers the risk of depression and reduces the risk of brain diseases, it has also negative effects on sleep and anxiety and it can cause headaches, panic attacks, adrenal fatigue, loss of energy, it can deprive minerals and vitamins from your body (read more on here)
As I mentioned before(here), I quit drinking coffee last spring. Well, how did I get the idea to stop drinking coffee? After consuming my morning coffee, I noticed that at first it made me feel like a super …

5 Effective Weight Loss Drinks

When it comes to losing weight, there is a lot of different kinds of detox packages and weight loss drinks available. However, I would not recommend using these products because they only offer short term benefits if any benefits at all. Instead I encourage to use a weight loss method which is sustainable. Usually this is acquiring healthy eating and exercising habits for life. You can achieve this by following my Nutrition Programme.

Surely different starter kits, such as detox kits and ready to eat soup diets may come in handy but eventually when you have lost some weight, you should opt for methods which offer permanent results. Therefore, in this post I will share with you 5 effective weight loss drink recipes. I would like to remind you that drinking these drinks are not your only diet.  On the contrary, these are recommended beside your healthy meals and these healthy drinks could replace your other sugary sodas and juices..Besides they are also healthy and delicious too.

WHY s…

How to Stay Young and Healthy

The other day I watched a really interesting BBC document about how to stay young and more specifically how to prevent dementia and Alzheimer's disease. As you get older your brains begin to shrink. As a result of this your cognitive skills diminish. How to prevent this? The key is to use your brains on a daily basis. More specifically scientists have discovered that learning a new language has the most efficient way to prevent dementia because learning will increase the size of your brain. According to these scientists other important ways to affect the size of your brain were

readingexercising in generallearning a new skill, such as playing guitarstudying
In the document researches investigated whether regular walks or ping poll plays had an effect on the brain tissue. The test groups walked or played ping poll for 2 hours per week. The results revealed that both test groups gained positive effects on their brain tissue because of their increased exercise. Moreover, their cognit…

Why Are Cola Drinks So Addictive?

Did you know that in Argentina people drink the most soft drinks in the world? Their annual consumption is 155 liters per capita.  Not far behind is number two, the USA with 154 liters per capita. Americans are one of the largest consumers of the soda drinks in the world because of their modern lifestyle and high incomes. As it is very common to drink colas or other soft drinks but I have heard many people saying that they cannot stop drinking them. I started to wonder what is it that makes drinking Coca-Cola so addictive? Is it the caffeine, sugar or the artificial sweeteners? Besides what's the harm in drinking Coca-Cola? Below I will examine these three issues. Caffeine content
The caffeine content in a 330ml serving of regular (sugar) Coca-Cola is about 32 mg. Compared to a a mug of coffee which contains 100 mg of caffeine that is a bit less. According to the Coca-Cola company the caffeine in their drinks is not addictive. However, if you are really sensitive to caffeine, you…

My Healthy Morning Routines

What kind of morning rituals do you have on the weekends? In this post I will share mine. I try to follow a consistent sleep schedule in which I try to go to bed at 10 pm at the latest on the weekends and wake up at 7.30 at the latest. Having said this, if I stay up later than 10 pm I don't stress about it. But if I have a "normal" weekend at home this is what I usually do..I have found a lot of positive things about waking up early. Previously I wrote about how waking up early made me more productive and how to become a morning person. I encourage you to try this!
After I have woken up, I drink a glass of room temperature water which I have left in my toilet the previous night. Then it's time to move my body. This part of my morning is the best part which encourages me to wake up early. My morning movements depend on how I feel in that morning. Sometimes I go for a short walk or run just to get some fresh air and wake up my body. In my opinion there is nothing like…

10 vinkkiä turvotuksen vähentämiseen

Vaivaako turvotus? Kokeile alla olevia vinkkejä ja saatat päästä kiusallisesta turvotuksesta eroon.

1. Syö säännöllisesti pieniä aterioita 5 kertaa päivässä.

2. Lisää kuitujen määrää.

Kuidut auttavat suolen toiminnassa, mikä jo sinällään vähentää turvotuksen tunnetta vatsassa. Tähtää 25 g päivässä. Hyviä kuidun lähteitä ovat kaurapuuro, täysjyväviljatuotteet, päärynä, avokado. Kaurapuuro marjojen kanssa on hyvä nesteenpoistaja.

3. Vältä suolan käyttöä.

Muistathan, että leivässä on yleensä paljon suolaa, leikkeleistä ja juustoista puhumattakaan. Jos käytät näitä elintarvikkeita, valitse vähäsuolaisin vaihtoehto tai sydänmerkki. Älä lisää suolaa riisiä keittäessäsi. Katso myös paljonko kasvis- ja lihaliemikuutiosi sisältää suolaa. Voit yllättyä!Suolaa tulisi saada maksimissaan 5g päivässä. Useilla suomalaisilla tämä määrä ylittyy reilusti.

4. Vältä nopeita hiilihydraatteja.

Näitä ovat muun muassa sokeri ja valkoviljatuotteet. Nämä keräävät nestettä elimistöösi ja aiheuttavat turvotusta …