Cross training is one of the most popular fitness trends world-over. What is cross training and what makes it so popular? To put is simply cross training is a creative way to make your workout more beneficial and enjoyable by combining different forms of exercises. Your body has a tendency to get use to the same physical activity done over a period of time. This is phenomenon is also commonly referred to as hitting the “plateau”.
Cross Training beautifully cuts this plateau out of the way by working out different muscles of the body at the same time adding variety, challenge, excitement to a workout routine resulting in more effective weight loss, better toned muscles and uniform development of the body.
Let us explain the benefits further. Doing same exercise repetitively can cause wear and tear of joints and leave other muscles without any exercise causing unbalance in workouts and disproportionate muscle growth. We require full body workout to keep our muscles conditioned and reduce injury as well. Cross training benefits the body in improving flexibility and increasing general fitness levels.
What combination would you call a good cross training routine. Essentially six different types of exercise techniques like reistance training to, plyometric, strength training, interval training, resistance training, isometric are included in a good cross training routine. Each of these forms of exercise have unique benefits and when combined can deliver some measurable results. Here is how each of these techniques work, what part of the body they work out and what are the main benefits of adding them to your exercise routine.
Interval Training: It is highly effective in building cardiovascular strength. Interval training is burst of high intensity training with is altered with period of rest. German drills, sprinting etc. Interval training improves strength and flexibility along with increased endurance. Interval training requires quick burst of high intensity cardio exercise in least time which improves oxygen supply in the body.
Plyometric: Plyometrics are extremely effective to improve flexibility and strengthen muscles. Plyometrics work on the basic principal of loading the muscles and then contracting them in rapid sequences. Plyometric in cross training will help you push your fitness levels to a new level.If your muscles have become weak and find it difficult to do your workouts then plyometrics can take you out from this phase and power you for higher performance and athletic movements.
Resistance Training: Resistance training is a form of strength training which trains the muscle by opposing force on them for muscle contraction through weights or hydraulics or elastic bands. Resistance training helps in building strength and increases muscle mass for better performance during a workout. It helps you improve activity level in your normal workout session as well.
Isometric Training: This is a completely different form of exercise which is isotonic in nature and involves exercises which are static. In the the exercises are performed without moving the joints for higher strength and power of the muscles. Isometric exercises also help in improving performance levels. It is best for people who can’t lift weight and parallel looking for weight loss and lean tissues.Author Information — this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo