Cross Training for Fitness
Cross training is defined in Wikipedia as follows “Cross-training refers to an athlete training in sports other
than the one that athlete competes in with a goal of improving overall performance. It takes advantage of the particular effectiveness of each training method, while at the same time attempting to negate the shortcomings
of that method by combining it with other methods that address its weaknesses. “
So many times we repeat the same workout day after day and convince ourselves that, by the sheer volume of training we do, we must be fit! Then one day you go to pick up your dog and injure your lower back. Or my favorite, the good looking young man that lifts weights with perfection but becomes completely winded while walking up a flight of stairs. I was training with a good friend last week, she is a 10 time Ironman, and we did 40 non weight bearing squats at the end of our run.
She called that night to complain how sore her quads were! Wow! She is a cardio junkie by definition and rarely does any weight training.
Cross training, I believe, is the key to preventing injury and staying functionally fit for daily living. We all know the most common injuries come from repetitive movements like running or cycling. Take some time and think about how you can train the other parts of your body that you don’t always use during your favorite
workout. For example, a runner will need to strength train the muscles that stabilize the pelvis and core, not just legs. A weight lifter needs to add some cardio and
cyclists can always befit from a good yoga workout!
The key is to add variety to your training, just as our daily lives require a variety of movement too. Climbing stairs and ladders, loading the roof rack of a car and pushing a lawn mower all require multiple
components of cardiovascular, muscle skeletal and balance training!
So as your summer is winding down and you start revamping your fall workout, mix it up, change your movement pattern and look for improvements in your daily living! All the best!