What is cross training? (10 of 10)

Cross training used to be a term used to describe when athletes, in particular runners, would swim or cycle instead of run to avoid injuries associated with high mileage or to allow them to maintain fitness while injured and unable to run. It is now a term that has been adapted by mainstream fitness enthusiasts to describe a broad and varied approach to exercise where no one specific goal or training method is followed but a variety of training approaches are used.

Followers of the cross training approach will probably have a variety of fitness goals that they want to achieve as opposed to a single goal. This non-specialization means that they are unlikely to excel at any one activity but will probably be quite proficient at a wide variety. This holistic approach to training means that over a period of a week, a number of different training methods will be used such as strength training, circuit training, cardio and interval work.

The resulting all round fitness lends its self well to those who like to play a number of different sports but don’t want to dedicate all their training time to just one activity and those who like plenty of variety in their workouts to avoid getting board.

Another benefit of the cross training approach is that by spreading the stress of exercise throughout the body and doing different activities on different days, overuse injuries such as shin splints or elbow tendonitis are far less likely to occur as the body is never overloaded the same way on consecutive days.

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