Don't Fall into an Exercise Rut; Fall in Love with Cross Training

Nothing changes unless something changes. That statement speaks volumes in the fitness realm and should be printed in bright bold lettering throughout our clubs. It stands to remind us that in order to facilitate change in our bodies and reach our personal fitness goals, we must continuously change our workout regimens.

We all love Spinning. It keeps us motivated and consistently active. But over time, there are a variety of pitfalls that may be encountered by engaging in only one fitness activity.

  • Overuse Injuries: If a carpenter uses the same hammer every day, eventually that hammer will weaken and break. You can expect the same results in your body if cross training is not incorporated. Performing the same workout over and over puts a tremendous amount of strain on the same muscles.
  • Muscle Balancing: Think of your car. When the tires are not balanced properly, one tire wears out, rendering the car unsafe. Muscles that are not involved in your workout tend to become weaker. This can lead to muscular imbalances between the intrinsic muscles and the extrinsic muscles, which may lead to injuries and postural misalignments that can cause pain and discomfort.
  • Autopilot Syndrome: When you continuously perform the same workout, you often push the autopilot button, particularly on days when you may be fatigued or simply not in the mood. By being passive in your workout, you may actually get less out of it. Doing something out of the ordinary will force you to be more active and engaged.
  • Boredom: Imagine if you ate your favorite food everyday for months on end. Your diet would not be healthy and balanced, and you would eventually tire of it. Even your favorite form of exercise can get to be a bit mundane. It then becomes a task, and once that happens, the motivation factor vanishes.

In order to avoid these pitfalls, other forms of exercise must be incorporated into your workout routine. Incorporating a variety of exercise formats will give you a full body workout, reduce the risk of overuse injuries, decrease the chance of becoming bored with exercise and enhance your skills in the Spinning studio.

A well-rounded fitness program is very much like a well-rounded, healthy meal. It contains a variety of elements that, when put together, allow the body to unlock the door that leads to greater successes. There are three key components to achieving a complete workout: cardiovascular endurance, strength and flexibility. Each type of exercise has specific benefits and by combining all three, you will attain peak total body fitness.

Cardiovascular endurance: Cardio workouts fuel weight loss, strengthen the heart, reduce stress and increase energy.

Strength: In addition to strengthening, toning and firming your muscles, resistance training will also increase your metabolism so that your body will burn more calories.

Flexibility: Flexibility reduces muscle tension, expands range of motion, increases circulation and lowers risk of injury.

Without cross training, Spinning instructors stand the chance of falling into an exercise rut, which can lead to lackluster sessions for our participants. As dedicated fitness professionals, we must lead by example and incorporate other forms of exercise into our regimen as well. It will keep everyone in the game longer.

Peg Gregor is a Master Instructor for the Spin Pilates™ program and serves as the Group Exercise Director for Healthtrax Fitness and Wellness Center in Bethel Park, PA. Contact her at

Cross Training 101

In addition to your Spinning classes, try one or more of these cardiovascular endurance exercises:

     • Running
     • Skating (ice or inline)
     • Swimming
     • Rowing

Some effective strength exercises include:

     • Calisthenics
     • Weight lifting
     • Flexible tubing
     • Stability ball exercises

You can reap the benefits of flexibility by including one or more of the following exercises into your workout regimen:

     • Proper stretching
     • Yoga
     • Pilates

SPIN Pilates™

SPIN Pilates™ provides comprehensive instructor training that empowers fitness professionals to design innovative and student-focused Pilates sessions.


Cross Training Workshops

Spinning® and Yoga

In this workshop, you'll learn cycling-specific yoga poses that help elongate muscles, release tension, deepen the breath and improve posture.


SPIN® Flex

In this workshop, you'll learn plenty of exercises using flex bands, tubing and dumbbells to train the major muscles groups, paying special attention to the upper body.


Spinning® and Core Training

This workshop explains the anatomy and biomechanics behind core training and provides dozens of basic standing, mat and stability ball exercises.

>> Workshops Near You

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