cross-training sounds like something reserved for serious athletes and feels like a bit of an old-school term that’s been around since moms started lacing up their sneaks for step aerobics. the good news: you’re likely already doing some sort of cross-training whether you realize it or not. the key to getting the most out of cross-training is to think about your exercise goals and what kind of side sessions will complement them. “crossfit totally changed the paradigm of cross-training and gave it a massively dominant brand and style, especially the connotation that cross-training is all high intensity,” says powell. cross-training doesn’t have to be super-intense, though. “cross-training will help you increase strength, power, speed, endurance, agility, and balance, all of which translates across all sports and your everyday life,” says powell.
maybe the easiest kind of cross-training to squeeze in to your already packed schedule is a workout that combines cardio and strength into one efficient session. if your main priority is gearing up for a marathon, the right kind of cross-training for you will be different than if your go-to exercise is hitting the yoga mat each morning. consider scheduling at least a few sessions with a personal trainer to help you outline your goals and how to stay on track to reach them. while one of the benefits of varying your workouts is a reduced risk of injury, it’s possible to wind up hurt from cross-training, too, if you’re not careful. instead, have a main activity that’s your anchor—and one you’ll really master—and mix in a complementary workout twice a week. start slowly and get guidance from a class instructor or trainer to make sure your new cross-training is helping, not hurting, your goals.
the essential fundamentals of cross training are the same whether you are exercising for improved health and fitness or for competition. one of the easiest ways to incorporate cross training is to alternate between activities (e.g., run one day, stair climb the next, cycle the next). the moral of the story is that cross training can offer you a refreshing physical and mental challenge.
get out there and give something new a try! jessica matthews, m.s., e-ryt500 is faculty in kinesiology and integrative wellness at point loma nazarene university and professor of yoga studies at miracosta college, where she helps to grow and mentor the next generation of health and wellness professionals. additionally, she serves as ace’s senior advisor for health and fitness education, and is the lead editor and author of the ace group fitness instructor handbook: the professional’s guide to creating memorable movement experiences. stay connected with us to get the latest health and fitness news, innovative workouts, healthy recipes and wellness tips.
“most everyone cross-trains—it just means training with a few different types of exercise, movement cross training is typically defined as an exercise regimen that uses several modes of training to successful runners turn to cross-training to help combat boredom or to give that nagging foot injury a break. but, cross training definition, cross training definition, cross training workouts, cross training in the workplace, cross training examples. when you run, you\’re constantly working your legs and arms, but to become a faster, stronger runner, that\’s where cross-training comes in. cross-training can be high or low intensity exercise and is different than just tacking on more miles. cross-training is athletic training in sports other than the athlete\’s usual sport. the goal is improving overall performance. it takes advantage of the particular effectiveness of one training method to negate the shortcomings of another.
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