Cross Training: Why It's Important
Author: Tedd Falk You and your elliptical are basically best friends. You two spend 3 days of the week together for at least 30 minutes and have done so for the last 3 years. You are really good at working out on your elliptical. Maybe TOO good? Problem is, that grocery bag seemed extremely heavy when carrying it up the stairs, and when you dusted off your bike for a ride over the weekend it felt really hard. It might be time to meet some new friends. Hello Crosstraining! Look, we all want to be really good at things, but sometimes specializing isn’t always the best solution for us. This is especially true in fitness. We are unfortunately creatures of habit that get stuck in the same routines, all while our bodies crave to move in different ways. So, you don’t have to completely break up your relationship with your elliptical, but think about supplementing your elliptical workout with a different form of cardio once and a while. For example, you could make Monday your elliptical day, Wednesday your stationary bike day, and you could even add a strength training day on Friday. If you have a specific goal in mind, find multiple exercises that all work to achieve similar results. By doing this you’ll start to find that your fitness level will become much more rounded and stronger overall. Not only will you become stronger overall, but cross training can also prevent the potential for injury. Runners are always a good example of how our muscles can become imbalanced by specializing. Runners are typically very powerful and have high endurance, but constant running causes their quads to overpower their hamstrings. Let’s also not forget to mention running completely neglects the upper body. Most runners also fit the stereotype of being very inflexible. All of these factors combined make the body more vulnerable to injury, where they could be avoided by mixing up your workouts. Even in sports, coaches are beginning to encourage kids not to specialize in a sport at too young of an age. Many scouts/recruiters are reporting that they are able to pick out young athletes who have specialized due to weaknesses in overall strength and coordination. If for no other reason, cross train to cut out the monotony! Doing the same thing over and over again gets boring! Freshen up your workout and have some fun with fitness!