The Sports Doctor: Utilize cross training when working out
Published 8:01 am, Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Cross training adds spice to your workout and will stimulate your mind as well, which keeps you from becoming bored with training. Cross training utilizes one or more sports to train for another, which improves endurance and strengthens your body. Another positive aspect to cross training is that you can enjoy the company of your family by participating in many different sports.
Your body will only allow you to do so much before there is physical boredom, or injury. When physical boredom sets in, the muscles experience a decreasing the lactic acid build-up.
Running should be cross trained with a technique sport such as tennis and a conditioning sport such as swimming. For example, cycling and running each work different muscles. With cycling, there is a well-developed quadriceps (front of thigh) muscle, while the hamstring muscle (behind the thigh) is loose and relaxed.
In running, the hamstrings are more developed because they are the prime movers, or the gravity muscles, while the quadricepses are the weaker anti-gravity muscles. By training in both running and cycling, all the leg muscle groups will be strengthened and there will be less chance of muscle pulls, spasms or injury.
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Swimming can help improve aerobic fitness and upper body strength, as the upper body is the propelling mechanism. The upper body, which is ignored in running, is isolated and exercised in swimming. The muscular endurance and conditioning from swimming may even be superior to the conditioning derived from running. Breathe control and rhythmic breathing is a great way to condition muscles underdeveloped from running while increasing aerobic fitness.
When you think about the jarring impact of the feet upon the pavement when running, a force of about 375 pounds repeated approximately 1700 times per mile, cross training makes a lot of sense.