The definition of cross-training is to do more than one type of aerobic exercise at regular intervals. There are several benefits of cross-training, including reduced risk of injury and quicker weight loss. It’s fine to excel in one sport or one style of athletic training, but sooner or later there will be an imbalance of muscle strength due to overtraining. The solution to this problem is to diversify your workouts. What exercises should you try? It all depends on what your preferences are.
Strengthen Your Core
Strong abdominal muscles make it easier to do all kinds of daily tasks, such as lifting heavy bags of groceries. If you sit at a desk all day, fit core muscles will ensure good posture and prevent an aching back. The plank can be done anywhere and you’re toning the rectus abdominis, obliques, and lower back without fancy equipment. Try the spiderman plank crunch, whereby you begin in the regular pushup stance. Contract the core and pull the left leg to the left shoulder. That’s one rep. Repeat on the other side. This is just one type of plank exercise; there are dozens of variations.
Mix Up Your Routine
Dive into a new routine and include swimming in a cross training workout. You might not be excited about trading a pair of runners for swimming goggles, but for the sake of preventing severe foot injuries give them a rest. Muscle imbalances from running will increase with every step. Swimming, on the other hand, allows for more variations and you can try all kinds of muscle exercises that don’t engage the legs.
Don’t be Scared of Change
You can replace running with indoor cycling. What’s not to like about this exercise? It’s intensive and it improves aerobic fitness but the feet don’t touch the hard pavement. Indoor cycling first appeared back in the 1990s, and it’s still here. It’s possible to burn hundreds of calories in one hour on a stationary bike and work the calves, glutes, quads, and core. Over time indoor cycling can shed weight and improve cardiovascular fitness. What really great about indoor cycling is that you choose how hard you work and the bike’s resistance, so pulling a muscle is unlikely
The elliptical machine gets a bad rap, but it shouldn’t because science has shown anyone can get a killer workout on the machine. On the elliptical, your heart rate is raised higher than on a treadmill and it improves fitness just as efficiently as a Stairmaster. The upper and lower body benefit from elliptical workouts, but it’s possible to work the machine using just the legs. In that case, core activation is required.
It might not sound like a obvious choice, but cross training with yoga can help build strength and flexibility. It also reduces stress and loosens stiff muscles. The combination of correct breathing techniques, meditation, and postures is meant to achieve clarity while increasing physical fitness. The side plank position can build upper body strength and the core. For improved agility, try the legs-up-the-wall position.