??????????????????????????????????????????????More and more people are boasting about the benefits of cross training. You’re probably wondering, “Do I need it?” or “Will it help me?” The answer may not be so cut and dry. There are a few things you need to consider, but the most important thing to ask yourself is, “What do you need help with?”

 If you’ve been focusing on certain muscle groups more than others, yes it can help you. It will help give your over-worked muscles a break while targeting other muscle groups you’ve been neglecting.

 If your old, normal routine has started to stress you out, it can give you a break from the monotony. Doing something new, and different, can add excitement back into your workout. It also keeps your muscles challenged. They get used to the same old routine too. Once they form what’s called “muscle memory” you lose a lot of the benefits the old routine gave you. Muscles need to be challenged from time to time so they develop in different ways.

 Your old routine can get boring causing you to not look forward to it. By adding cross training or changing up your routine, it improves your attitude. It also adds excitement like we mentioned above along with added motivation. Losing your motivation to get fit or stay fit can completely sabotage your goals and your fitness routine. When you add a new challenge or change things up you find new inspiration.

 Cross training can add strength to your core muscles. Most people already work their core muscles on a regular basis, but by changing up your routine you bring different core muscle groups into play. This also challenges them and keeps them from becoming stagnant, so to speak. The abs contain four main muscle groups. If you’re only doing crunches and not targeting all of them, you’re missing out on having serious abdominals. Cheeseburger Abs style.

 Don’t neglect your back muscles either. A strong core consists of the abdominals and the back muscles. Having strong abs and weak back muscles can lead to injury. These are supporting muscles. Cross training can help build supporting muscles so they become stronger. This will lead to improvements in your normal workouts.

 Many avid fitness buffs who start cross training are amazed at the results they get. Those who thought they were already in great shape are discovering the benefits of cross training and seeing results in their body and also in their performance.

 Cross training is not only great for working the body in different ways, it also challenges your mind, breaks up boredom and adds new motivation to your fitness routines. If you’ve gotten bored with your old routine or feel your body isn’t responding like it was in the beginning, check into cross training and see if it’s a good fit for you. You may be pleasantly surprised that the new challenge is just the boost you needed to get back your drive. Also, your endurance and stamina will receive some wonderful benefits too.

 You probably know that I have been involved in martial arts for a long time. That is my cross training. How do you cross train? Stay tuned for more fantastic fun-filled ways to cross train your passion or hobby.

2 Responses to The Benefits of Cross Training – Are You Ready for It?

  • Al, my primary activity is running. I ran the Kelowna Half Marathon last fall. To mix things up, I like to ride my road bike and I do some strength training at the gym. Next week, we are planning to ride from Canmore to Banff and back. I’m also hoping to add some yoga, for added flexibility and strength. Any other suggestions?

  • Adding Yoga is terrific and the biking is also a great idea. You mention you already perform strength training as well. Sounds like you are already doing a fantastic job at cross-training. Any activities that get the body moving, and blood pumping will contribute in a beneficial manner, especially when it is a fun activity.

    Borrowing from the philosophy of Bruce Lee, any activity that comes as close as possible to the sport, or activity you wish to improve should be embraced. The biking fits this wonderfully. I would say the only thing I would recommend now is that you add the component of “interval training” to your running, and biking conditioning. Using a timer, add up to 30 seconds of 100% all-out effort up to 8 times during your sessions and see how this ups your conditioning in as little as a few weeks.

    Thanks for reading, and double thanks for leaving a comment. Hope this helps.

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