Perhaps you’ve found yourself dedicated to a certain sport, class or treadmill. That dedication is reflected in the fact that bike number 33 is yours, that second treadmill in the upper cardiovascular area facing out has your name on it or that floor space in Jade or Studio 1 is clearly your real estate. That kind of dedication can bring great success, forge strong friendships and open doors of opportunity. But if that dedication hasn’t addressed cross training, it may have left you struggling with overuse injuries or looking to try something new. Fall is the perfect time to give your fitness regimen a tune up and consider the benefits of cross training.
By incorporating a nice variety of cardio, strength and flexibility, you can balance your workouts in a way that will increase your performance and overall fitness without repeatedly stressing the same muscles and putting yourself at risk for injury. This variety will also help you to be more functionally fit and able to complete daily tasks with greater ease.
To get the most out of any activity, and to do it safely, it’s important to consider all of the muscles involved, not just the ones directly related to that activity. That’s where cross training comes in.
For a single-sport athlete, cross training can mean anything outside the athlete’s primary sport, while for the fitness enthusiast, it means using many different activities to ensure total fitness. For some, it simply means living a varied and physically active life.
So where’s the best place to start?
1. Consider your favorite activities, what components are necessary to do them and which ones might be missing from your current fitness regimen.
2. Consider challenges you may have planned in the next three months and what changes in your workouts might help you better achieve them.
3. Look at ways to re-energize your workouts by trying something new.
4. Review the 130+ classes offered each week on our complimentary Group Fitness schedule and find the classes that address what you’re missing.
- For strength, try BODYPUMP, CXWORX or Power Hour
- For intense cardio blocks with some strength, consider HIIT, INSANITY, BODYSTEP, BODYCOMBAT or Breakfast Club
- For other cardio options, try one of our indoor cycling classes, ZUMBA, CVI or Hi NRG Cardio
- For flexibility with some strength, consider one of our Vinyasa classes or willPower and grade
- For more flexibility with balance, try Thermal, Vin/Yin, Restorative or Kundalini Yoga.
5. Decide which classes will best complement your overall fitness objectives.
6. Make an appointment with yourself to attend those classes.
7. Share your goals, successes and struggles with your instructor. They can help you navigate through this process and provide accountability.
By adding variety and balance to your training you will set yourself up for better results and fewer injuries. And, not to worry, that studio space or bike you claimed can remain yours throughout your happy, healthy life!
Andrea Morris, Director of Group Fitness at Greenwood Athletic Club