If you ask other athletes to name a benefit of cross-training, all of them will mention injury prevention. But although injury prevention is by far the most widely recognized benefit of cross-training among athletes, it’s hardly the only one. Athletes can also use cross-training to rehabilitate injuries, improve fitness, promote recovery, enhance motivation, rejuvenate the mind and body during breaks from formal training, enjoy competing in other endurance sports. Related to the benefit of injury prevention, cross-training can also prolong your sporting career. Check out these benefits :
- Conditioning: By performing a variety of exercises from different disciplines, you are asking more of your body than with a traditional, straight-forward approach. Increased workload and variety lead to increased capability. In other words, by doing more with your body, your athletic and fitness levels have no choice but to grow. Cross-training workouts aren’t tailored to a single goal, such as gaining strength or getting faster, but cater to these needs simultaneously. With cross-training, it’s possible to gain muscle, lose fat, increase cardio-aerobic capacity and quicken your feet all in a single workout. This comprehensive style of fitness training is called conditioning, and it’s one of the benefits of cross-training.
- Injury Prevention: Often when guys get injured in the gym, on the court, or on the field, it’s because they’re over doing a single activity. Whether it be running, squatting, cutting, or jumping, your body is easily worn down. Joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons throughout your body are under a tremendous amount of stress though repeated movement, and it’s important to give them the occasional break. By mixing up your routine you give the over-used parts of your body a chance to rest and the under-used a chance to strengthen and catch-up. By cross-training you can become a healthier, more complete athlete.
- Active Recovery: Active recovery is the practice of using an alternative type of training to recover from your primary training method. For instance, many professional football players do swimming workouts and pool resistance exercises to actively recover from their on-field practices and traditional weight room training. In addition to the conditioning and injury preventing benefits of active recovery, it has been show to actually speed up recovery by increasing blood flow and the delivery of nutrients to stressed or damaged muscle tissue.