Cross Training: Why Mixing it Up Makes a Difference

Cross Training: Why Mixing it Up Makes a Difference

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So you have running down – it is time to add a little bit of something else to your work out! Getting a rounded fitness will increase your strength, and improve your running.

What is cross training?

Cross training is a mode of training which incorporates many different activities or forms of exercise to get whole-body fitness. Cross training comes in when you can run a 10km in your sleep, but you get a twinge in your back from carrying the shopping from the car.

How does cross training work?

The point of cross training is to develop muscles, which would not usually be developed in your main choice of sport, by exercising in other ways. At its core, cross training is recommended because it improves your performance in your main sport of choice – but, let us be honest, sometimes a bit of variation goes a long way.

Ideal cross training activities for runners

Including cross training in your running plan is very easy. Runners generally need strong leg muscles, but developing the other muscles in your body that control the way you move your legs should be your focus in cross training. The spotlight should be on muscle groups that control pelvic strength and mobility, core strength, and upper-body strength and posture.

1. Football

Not only is it fun and great for core training and endurance, but you will run around eight kilometres in a friendly game.

2. Boot camp

If you have plenty of motivation to run, but need coaching to train muscles strength and endurance, join a boot camp.  Boot camps are excellent as a supplement to your running plan as they are generally varied and you do not have to be the one driving yourself to do just one more set of lunges.

3. Swimming

Swimming is great for cross training. Swimming develops a seriously strong core, and upper-body strength for good posture.

4. Martial arts

Adding a form of martial arts that incorporates intense muscles training to our running plan will get your core strong and your muscle endurance going.

5. Yoga

Yoga improves flexibility and general running performance. Doing hot yoga classes before a race in a warm climate can also help with conditioning, and lowers your risk of heat injuries.