The importance of cross training
WHAT IS CROSS-TRAINING?
Isn’t a cross trainer that big prey mantis looking machine in the gym? The one where you punch the air holding onto the handlebars while walking like you have giant snow-shoes on? Well yes.. that is a cross trainer – however cross-training is more than just looking like an insect in the snow. Cross-training is a type of training regime that involves several different types of exercises. Doing this allows for more muscle groups to be used, can improve agility, and make it easier to participate in other recreational sports. This is the importance of cross training.
It’s necessary for athletes of all levels to train specifically for their sports. However, if they want to excel and break-away from the pack then cross-training is a great way to achieve this. Three specific benefits that may result in cross-training include improvements to aerobic capacity, muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness. It may also decrease risk of an overuse injury. The latter is achieved by decreasing the stress that would usually be applied on a specific muscle group (including the tendons). When you participate in other activities you use the muscles in slightly different ways.
Further benefits to cross-training include developing new skills, and can provide variety to your routine. This may allow you to train more often, with more interest. Another benefit to cross-training is that there is potential to condition the entire body, not just specific muscle groups. Ever heard of the glass ceiling metaphor? No? Well, if you put a [metaphorical] glass ceiling above your head with goals and expectations you can only achieve as much up to the point of the ceiling and no further. However, cross-training can help break through this glass ceiling (metaphorically speaking) and allow your overall conditioning to exceed this. Therefore, come game day/ competition day/ whatever it is you’re wanting to achieve. You will be at a higher level of performance capacity to absolutely smash it on the day!
Throughout 2020 COVID continued to dominate our lives, our schedules, and our training regimes. As I’m sure many of you have noticed – gyms kept closing, pools close, etc. We have to improvise if we want to maintain any of your ‘gains’, cardiovascular capacity, and endurance thresholds. You can see where I’m going with this right? Cross-training!
So when the gyms shut down, or you can’t commit to your usual training routine you know that you can do some body-weight/calisthenic training from the comfort of your own home. Or if you’re usually a swimmer you can dust-off the old (not too old hopefully) running shoes and hit the bitumen and do a couple of laps around the block or up and down a set of stairs somewhere.
The importance of cross training and improvisation go hand-in-hand. Now knowing this, for when the next Pandemic arises (which is hopefully never) you can incorporate other exercises or training methods into your week. This type of exercise should be incorporated into your current training schedule throughout the year and if you would like more conditioning help, speak to one of our exercise physiologists.
At Pivotal Motion Physiotherapy, we are more than just a physiotherapist – we also offer excellent exercise classes. If you would like guidance on how to best implement an appropriate cross-training regime into your current training schedule contact us on 3352 5116 or Book Online.