If you’re a regular at the gym, no doubt you’ve already heard about cross-training as a means to spice-up your workout. By using different muscle groups, cross-training can help you achieve that higher level of fitness you desire and keep things interesting at the same time.
It is ideal for anyone, so whether you’re a beginner who wants to get in shape or an experienced exerciser looking to take your workout to the next level, here are some of the main benefits of cross-training.
We all know that injuries are inevitable during workouts. They are often the unhappy result of overdoing a single activity. Mixing up your routine and giving your overused muscles the occasional break can reduce the chance of injury. By cross-training, you start working your underused muscles instead and give them a chance to strengthen and catch up. However, it should be noted that competitive cross-trainers can still experience certain overuse injuries due to an unbalanced work schedule or inadequate muscle rest. As with all things in life, balance is the key.
Enhanced weight loss
Past research has shown that burning a great amount of calories is best accomplished when individuals exercise for relatively long durations (usually more than 30 minutes) at a moderate level of intensity. This is easily achieved by cross-training. You could, for example, use the elliptical trainer for 20 to 30 minutes and then continue training by using the cycle for the same amount of time. Varying your workout routine like this can get you over the weight loss plateau.
It’s easy to get bored when you find yourself doing the same thing over and over again during every workout, and it also quickly becomes frustrating when you reach a plateau. Cross-training keeps boredom at bay. It is a refreshing physical and mental challenge that can make you look forward to every training session.
At the end of the day, cross-training can help you burn a significant amount of calories if done right. It should be the backbone of any exercise program and the best part is that you can choose whatever works for you, whether it’s running, weightlifting, cycling, swimming or even hiking. By keeping your body guessing you can reap all the benefits of regular exercise and more.