The Importance Of Cross Training

Cross training refers to engaging in several different exercises and sports regardless of what your main sport or exercise is. You will often hear the term “cross training” mentioned by personal trainers who will urge their clients to combine aerobic exercise with weight work, flexibility work, strength training, and resistance training. The theory is that cross training seasons the body and allows it to work at its full potential within many different arenas. A person who spends a great deal of time cross training may be able to avoid sports injuries because their bodies are fit and aren’t limited to one or two specialties. For example, a power lifter may be able to lift a great deal of weight, but if he or she is asked to run a couple of miles then this may result in the athlete collapsing from the strenuous exercise of running. This is certainly not to say that the power lifter isn’t fit – far to the contrary – but some cross training can turn a power lifter into a well rounded athlete. Well rounded athletes are better poised to avoid most common sports injuries because their bodies are so well conditioned. It’s easy to get a sports injury when you try something new that you don’t usually do, but when you spend a great deal of time cross training you lower the spectrum of movements with which your body is not familiar.

Cross training does not have to involve huge changes to your conditioning and work out regime, and the benefits can be huge. Not only can you condition your body to better avoid some sports injuries, but your game will probably improve because you will build up stamina and strength. For example, a softball player who takes on Pilates may find that their pitch gets better because of the increased strength in the abdominal muscles, or a football player may discover that ballet workouts grants him or her a great deal of agility.

The cross training need not involve relatively exotic workouts like Pilates and ballet in order to be effective, but the point is to introduce your body to a wide variety of workouts and movements in order to increase physical abilities and to avoid sports injuries. You can accomplish this by merely switching up your exercise routine if you have engaged in the same routine for some time. Bodies can easily grow accustomed to the same workout routine, no matter how strenuous it may be, and for this reason you simply don’t derive the same amount of benefit you once did from the same routine. Don’t fall into the trap of avoiding new sports and exercises because you want to avoid sports injuries. As long as you start slow and don’t push your body too hard in the beginning then cross training can only help you in your quest to avoid sports injuries. Give your body the training it needs in a wide variety of activities and you will gain great benefit from your efforts.

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