5 Reasons Cross Training is Important for Athletes
All athletes have physical specialties, and as a result, they tend to focus on and train the major muscle groups that are used primarily in their specific sport. What more and more research shows are the increased benefits to those that cross train.
1. Decreased Risk of Injury: Through cross training, an athlete is less likely to get an overuse injury. Instead of overusing the same joints over and over, cross training allows athletes to employ a variety of muscle groups.
2. Better Aerobic Capacity: Limiting an athlete to one activity can cause burn-out. By doing different exercises, they are instead able to switch to new activities when a body part feels sore. For example, if you are a runner with shin pain, you can stop running and do swimming, rowing or other non-impact activity, allowing you to continue to work on your stamina.
3. Increase in Overall Strength: Research has shown that strength training can increase overall performance. By increasing strength, athletes are able to run faster, throw harder, and jump higher. For instance, weightlifting can increase performance more than just simply practicing certain skills.
4. Develop Dynamic Flexibility: By working out multiple muscle groups, athletes can develop much great dynamic flexibility than when they focus on one area of the body. By trying new exercise or activities, new muscles, joint and ligaments are ‘warmed up’ and lengthened.
5. Aid in Healing: In some cases, cross training can allow the body to recuperate faster from injury; this is because other exercise can directly improve the ailment caused by regular activity. Using alternative exercises not only gives the body the opportunity to heal, but in many cases will also help stretch and strengthen parts of the body that are in pain.
Our first priority for all patients is to help prevent injuries and cross training is a great way to do that. If you begin to experience an ache or pain, that is the first sign that something is wrong. Working through it can increase muscle weakness and decrease flexibility until ultimately an injury occurs. Before you get to the point of injury and have to stop exercising/training, come check in with us. We will provide an encouraging environment with the goal of getting you back to your sport and every day life as quickly and safely as possible.