Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Importance of Cross Training

Good morning, folks.  Happy Hump Day! 

I'm going to link up with Megan for Workout Wednesday but I'm doing something a little different this week. Instead of posting a workout for you, I want to talk about the importance of cross training.


When I started running a couple of years ago, cross training was recommended, but I didn't do it consistently. For the past couple of years, one of my fitness goals has been to cross train regularly. I've joined gyms and started out with gusto, but I lost my motivation or life got in the way and I quit. It actually took an injury for me to wake up and smell reality. I recently started Insanity. I love it and I think that it's something that I will continue. I can tell that its going to increase my endurance and make me a stronger runner.

I had an opportunity to discuss cross-training with my runners this week and I wanted to share the same information with you.

Cross training ultimately improves our overall performance by developing muscle groups that may not be used in running. It creates a balance in our muscle groups and gives us flexibility and stability that can enhance our overall performance and training. Here are some more reasons why cross training is important:

1: Injury Prevention--consistent training can lead to overuse injuries, usually caused by muscle imbalances or inadequate recovery. Cross training helps to strengthen non-running muscles, rest running muscles, and reduces injury potential.

2:  Rehabilitation--if an injury does occur, it may be necessary to cut way back on running or even eliminate it completely while you recover. Studies show that declines in fitness begin to occur after 10 days of complete rest. Cross training can help reverse this process. By working other muscles, you can offset any imbalances that may have contributed to the injury. And taking a break from running gives your body an opportunity to recover and heal.

3:  Increased endurance--high intensity workouts increase the muscles resistance to fatigue and increases oxygenation which improves running capacity.

4:  Greater strength and flexibility--helps to decrease the risk of injury and aids in becoming a more efficient runner.

5:  Promotes recovery--increases blood flow and oxygenation to muscles which aids in tissue repair and faster recovery times.

What is your favorite cross training workout/activity??

Has cross training helped you to rehab from an injury??


  1. Fav cross training, hmm right now yoga, but I also LOVE high intensity interval training,, cycling and my elliptical. I wish I could swim and had a pool to swim in.

    1. I love yoga! That's what helped me when I was having IT band issues.

  2. Favorite crossing training right now is swimming, biking, and lifting...would love to add yoga to the mix but can't find time for it!

    1. I have a yoga dvd that is only 20 minutes long but very effective.

  3. Honestly, walking is my favorite cross training exercise. It's followed by Jillian Michaels' Yoga Meltdown.