Medical Library

  • Cross Training-how it can help you!

    Before you start any exercise program, consult your therapist and physician.

    Cross Training - You may have heard the term in the gym, know of athletes that cross train, or you may even be wearing cross-training shoes. The simple definition of cross training is the use of more than one type of exercise to achieve your training goals.

    For example, you may want to improve your vertical jump to better your basketball skills. To improve your jump, your therapist could show you some cross training exercises. We might have you do some leg press weight training and plyometric jumps. In this example, we are using two different types of exercise to help you achieve your goal - to jump higher.

    But why should you cross train? The answers are that the body gets real good at the specific exercise(s) we perform. This is called specificity of training. If you do wrist curls every day you'll get real good at wrist curls but your chest muscles won't get any stronger. Or, if you cycle all day you will be a good cyclist but not nearly as good at swimming. Cross training stresses the muscles with a variety of exercises. It prepares the body for the myriad of stresses that you experience each day. If you cross train, you'll develop better strength, endurance, flexibility, and coordination over a greater variety of challenges and movements.

    Secondly, cross training works all three types of muscle fibers. The slow twitch, endurance muscle fibers and the both types of fast twitch fibers benefit from cross training.

    Finally, cross training keeps you psychologically interested in training. You're not doing the same thing every day when you cross train. It is hard to stick to an exercise program. However, with proper instruction and motivation and a good cross training program, you'll be on your way to success.

    Cross training can be performed with a variety of resistance exercises or a variety of aerobic exercises. Here is an aerobic cross training sample for you.

    Day 1

    • Walk on the treadmill 10 minutes.
    • Stationary cycle 10 minutes.
    • Rowing Machine 10 minutes

    Day 2

    • Jogging on the treadmill 10 minutes.
    • Cross trainer machine 10 minutes.
    • Stair stepper 10 minutes

    Day 3

    • Swim 20 minutes.
    • Rollerblade 20 minutes

    Day 4

    • Walk 20 minutes.
    • Climb stairs 20 minutes

    If you want a good cross training program. Just give us a call. We would be happy to put something together for you.


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