CROSS TRAIN TO CONDITION YOUR BODY

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Same daily exercise routine stifling your style? Banish the boredom by introducing cross training into your weekly routine – and reap the rewards of a more balanced workout and a fitter body. Cross training is a great way to condition different muscle groups, develop a new set of skills, and reduce boredom that creeps in after months of the same exercise routines.

Cross training also allows you the ability to vary the stress placed on specific muscles and your cardiovascular system. After months of the same movements your body becomes extremely efficient at performing those movements. While that’s great for competition, it limits your overall fitness and reduces the actual conditioning you get while training. Cross training is also necessary to reduce the risk of injury from repetitive strain or overuse.

BENEFITS OF CROSS TRAINING

  • Reduces exercise boredom.Reduces exercise boredom.
  • Allows you to be flexible about your training needs and plans (if it’s pouring with rain outside, you can cycle or do a Ride class inside).
  • Produces a higher level of all-round conditioning.
  • Conditions the entire body, not just specific muscle groups.
  • Reduces the risk of injury.
  • Works some muscles while others rest and recover.
  • Allows you to continue training while injured.• Improves your skill, agility and balance.

WHAT EXERCISES SHOULD I DO FOR CROSS TRAINING?

Cardiovascular exercise (add three different exercises from the list below): Cardiovascular exercise (add three different exercises from the list below):

  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Rowing
  • Stair climbing
  • Rope jumping
  • Squash/other court sports

STRENGTH EXERCISES

  • Free weights
  • Machines
  • Tubing and bands

CALISTHENICS (PUSH UPS AND CRUNCHES AND PULL UPS)

  • Flexibility (stretching, yoga)
  • Speed, agility and balance drills
  • Circuit training, sprinting, plyometrics and other forms of skill conditioning

You can do one form of exercise each day or more than one in a day. If you do both on the same day, you can change the order in which you do them. You can easily tailor cross training to your needs and interests; mix and match your sports and change your routine on a regular basis.

Here are some useful tips for incorporating cross training into your routine:

If you’re doing a lot of cycling, try adding upper body strength exercises to your routine. This will prevent you from getting tired quickly and help you maintain your form during the later stages of your cycle (or when competing in a long-distance event) when form and technique tend to deteriorate.

Swimming is an ideal cross training activity for a variety of sports such as cycling or running, because it provides an excellent cardio workout with no impact on the joints. It also strengthens the muscles that cycling and running tend to neglect.

Yoga and Pilates build core strength, mental focus, balance and, perhaps most importantly, flexibility. But start with a beginner class – they often aren’t as easy as they seem.

As part of your cardio workout, try to include activities such as stair climbing, rowing or a court sport such as squash or tennis.

For your strength workout, incorporate some push-ups and crunches, and perhaps try some exercises using a variety of tubing and bands, machines and free weights.

Join in the fun of some great group exercise classes on offer at Virgin Active. Bring some variety into your exercise routine by trying a Ride, Pound or Barre180, to mention a few.

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