What is cross training? It is simply the fact of training in several sports rather than concentrating our activities in a single physical activity. Simple isn't it?
A concept as old as the world and which has proven itself among high-level athletes, cross-training should be introduced into your training habits whether you are a seasoned athlete or even a Sunday runner!
We present to you 5 benefits of cross training:
1. Injury prevention
Any repetitive movement can cause a repetition injury. The concept applies to training, but also in the workplace.
Caring for repeat injuryis when a movement is repeated too often and the stress applied to one part of the body is greater than the body's ability to adapt.
For example, a person for whom the workload in front of a screen increases might have a chance of sustaining a wrist injury if the increase is not gradual.
The load put on the joints varies between different sports. Sports such as running or tennis have a lot of impact while others such as cycling or cross-country skiing have less.
The integration of cross training in our daily life therefore allows us to avoid training overload by requesting different movements. This avoids overloading a specific joint or muscle.
2. Cross training helps you stay active despite injury
As we are never safe from injury, unfortunately you may have to face this situation one day or another.
If you only practice running and have a sprained ankle, for example, your options are rest or cross training.
Both options are good, but the last one will allow you to keep some ground by staying active. In addition, this training in another sport will allow you to keep your morale up.
Depending on the injury and your condition, cycling and swimming are allies during rehabilitation!
3. Develop different skills
By trying and practicing different sports, you are making yourself a very nice gift by developing new motor patterns!
Indeed, as each sport requires specific skills, integrating cross training will allow your body to work on different muscles and skills.
In many cases, this versatility turns out to be beneficial in several ways, but above all it opens up a window of possibilities such as saying yes to the following activities:
- go skating with your grandchildren;
- go up Mont-Tremblant with a friend;
- go cross-country skiing with your father;
- do a Zumba workout with your colleague in the Corporate Challenge;
- do a home strength training with your partner and an Altterre;
- perfect your little one in soccer.
It is true that with age, it becomes more and more difficult to acquire new skills. On the other hand, it can be extremely motivating to feel that we are starting something new and that we are becoming more efficient in this new activity.
Plus, learning something new is so satisfying!
4. Psychological benefits of cross training
We know that the main reason that pushes people to give up physical activity is lack of motivation.
The practice of a single sport can sometimes be monotonous and one often has the impression of embarking on the Automatic pilot : we repeated the same movements hundreds of times making them second nature to us.
It can be pleasant and reassuring for some while it is not stimulating enough for others.
Cross training therefore allows the brain to be stimulated more: a winning combination to keep motivation!
5. Discover YOUR sport
You may have already found it and if so, well done! Otherwise, by varying your workouts and allowing yourself to try a multitude of different sports, you increase your chances of discovering a sport you will fall in love with and which will motivate you to move more. That is a winner!
To have ideas of new sports to integrate, take a look at Caroline Toupin's article, Finding Balance with Cross Trainings.