Cross training is so important, but is often underutilized. There is so much focus on mileage but not near as much talk about cross training and the benefits it can have on your running.
Don’t know much about cross training? Check out these articles!
I’m not a running coach or fitness professional, but over the years I’ve noticed a direct correlation between my running success and the amount of time I’m spending cross training.
I’ve found that a combination of strength training, mobility and low intensity aerobic activities work best for me. I like to mix it up, but here are some of my favorites right now.
I’ve been enjoying lots of lower body work with my EZ bar for the last couple months. It’s so challenging, but I can definitely see a difference in my body and my running. I usually superset most exercises and sometimes pair a quick 20 minute session with a shorter distance run. I’m a big fan of squats because they are a compound exercise.
Here are some of my favorite exercises:
- Front Squats
- Sumo Squats
- Step Ups
- Single Leg Split Squats
- Standard Squats
- Narrow Squats
These little bands are so portable that I even keep one at the office. It doesn’t take much time and it’s easy to just do a couple exercises at a time. I like to throw on the heavy resistance band post run to get a couple exercises in.
I’ve been loving these exercises lately:
- Dinosaur walks
- Lateral walks
- Glute Bridges
- Hip Ups on a Decline
I’ve found that yoga not only helps me recover from tough workouts and loosen my tight muscles, but it’s also a great way to build total body strength. So much of yoga is about balance and strength so it’s a great way to get many different benefits for one activity. I can’t seem to get enough!
I’m not talking about spin class where your heart is about to explode out of your chest. I enjoy really easy cycling on my spin bike. I focus on keeping my heart rate low and just moving my legs. Nothing fancy here. My running muscles are engaged, but it’s a low impact and low stress option.
It’s so nice to just do some easy spinning on the bike for a while if I don’t feel like running or want to add some low impact training to the week. I will often just turn on a tv show or movie and spin while I watch it.
It might seem silly to include dog walks in the list, but going on a long walk is one of my faves. It’s great for the mind and my legs really enjoy just walking. I work a desk job with little opportunity to walk much during the workday so it’ great to be able to walk my dog Chloe Mae a couple times a week for long periods of time.
There are so many different ways to cross and strength train, but these are just some of my favorites.
What are your favorite ways to cross train?