Cross-training can be the best fitness experience for athletes training for a specific discipline. Many gyms in Texas offer cross-training options. Cross-training means engaging in two or more different exercises or sports to strengthen the main discipline. If, for example, the athlete is training to be a marathon runner, it may be beneficial for the person to engage in weight training where basic lifts can build muscle or HIIT classes, which stands for high-intensity interval training typically lasting in 30 minute sessions. Other options can include group fitness classes such as yoga, Pilates, or dance classes. Any combination of classes can provide the best fitness experience for that person.
3 Benefits of Cross-Training
- Reduced Chance of Injury: When an athlete is in intense training for one discipline, they repetitively stress the same joints and muscles. This can lead to stress fractures. The main benefit of cross training is its ability to alleviate stress on the commonly used muscle groups and joints. Different exercise works different areas and balances out the weaker parts of the body while allowing other areas to rest and recover. This is a way for athletes to stay active in times they may need to let their body recover. Recovery is essential to building up fitness. Several gyms in Texas offer a variety of workout machines to target specific areas of fitness.
- Overall Fitness Improvement: If muscles are weak, strengthening these often supports the main group of muscles used. Engaging in different activities can also help an athlete isolate the muscles they need to use in their main discipline. For example, many equestrians benefit from Pilates. Staying balanced on a horse requires core strength and Pilates is a way to practice isolating and strengthening certain muscle groups off the horse. When the rider returns to the horse, they will be able to engage their core more efficiently and effectively.
- Boredom Relief: The best fitness experience should be fun. Cross-training can break-up the usual cycle of physical activity and provide new mental stimulation. Doing the same thing day-after-day can burn an athlete out. If they are challenged with a new exercise or way of thinking about something, that can extend the life of their enthusiasm for their chosen discipline.
The ideal fitness routine is different for everyone. The individual has to evaluate themselves and what they think will work best for them. No matter the discipline, they should strive for the best fitness experience to keep them working towards their goals.