It’s time for another Austin-area sports medicine 101 class!
Also known as circuit training, cross training’s purpose is to help an athlete improve his or her overall performance by training in sports that are different than the one that is his or her main focus. Training in varying manners allows the athlete to improve his or her fitness levels without over-exerting the muscles he or she uses in their primary sport. For example, a bicyclist may take up swimming in order to strengthen his or her upper body, which is not exercised as regularly in bicycling.
In the general sports and fitness arena, cross-training allows for the combination of exercises to train the full range of muscle groups. A person may hit the gym and focus on chest and arms one day, then return later in the week to workout legs, and then even later turn attention to back and shoulders. All of this is accomplished by using a variety of exercises – a very general application of cross-training.
A side benefit of cross-training is that it helps eliminate boredom. Too often people get tired of just walking or just using the treadmill, and their workout routine goes by the wayside. Cross-training keeps things fresh and challenging – a constant reason to strive for better physical fitness.