Okay folks let’s talk cross training. I think I speak for all of us when I say that you either love your cross training days or you pretty much hate them. It can sometimes be overwhelming to figure out what you should be doing on these days and often that doesn’t always correlate with what you want to do.
The idea behind cross training is that it gives your body a break from what you are training for ( running, swimming, weights, etc.) and allows you to focus on other areas of your body that will allow you to do what you are training for better. Sometimes that means working different muscle groups from the ones you primarily use but sometimes it can mean strengthening the same areas in a different way from your primary exercise. Make sense?
Most of what I am going to talk about pertains to running because that is what I know about from personal experience but similar concepts can apply to nearly everything in life.
Here are just some examples of areas that a RUNNER will need to be strong in order to be conditioned for running AND some exercises or activities to help develop these areas:
- ankles: walking
- knees: walking
- core strength: kettlebells or balance focused exercises like yoga, pilates, stability ball, barre
- regulated breathing: yoga, pilates, barre, cardio focused activities like biking or swimming
- lung capacity: cardio focused activites like biking or swimming
- quads: squats, lunges, kettlebells
- tush: squads, lunges, kettlebells
These are just a couple examples of ways to pump up your body through cross training so that you are a better runner. Keep in mind that nothing will make you a more seasoned runner than running and it is always better to train your body for your primary activity by doing it. Cross training is wonderful because it gives you a little vacation from your primary activity but still allows you to train your body to be better at what you are training for. Think of cross training as an enhancer.
I personally do a lot of yoga and my training plan even has a weekly designated yoga day. I’ve found it to be the best stretching exercise and it makes my legs and core so strong. I love to ride my bike around my neighborhood or spin inside if it’s too brisk. Walking is so easy and this keeps my dog happy so I try to do it often. Kettlebells and squats are incredible. I need to add them back into the mix. I might go back to adding in 20 or so whenever I brush my teeth. I’ve only used my stability ball a couple times, but I can’t wait to break it in even further.
I’ve made a list of some of my favorites. Check them out!
Tone Your Gut