Consider Cross Training to Prevent Injuries

Posted on May 16, 2018. Filed under: Exercise, Healing, Health, injury, rebuild, Weightloss | Tags: , , , |

gregmonicatire2

~by Dr. Greg Steiner

Many of us find a particular sport and fall in love with it, so much in fact, that there doesn’t seem to be a need or desire to do anything else than that particular sport.  Our thoughts may be, “If I focus solely on that sport and direct all my attention towards it, I can become better at it!”  While in theory, that’s the right attitude and perseverance will surely help reach one’s ultimate goal, this thought process can actually limit our experience and long term end result.   This limitation is defined by experiencing pain from overuse of certain joints or injuries that occur.  Fortunately, injuries aren’t inevitable.  As a matter of fact, most overuse injuries can actually be prevented and a great deal of these injuries are actually re-injuries. (Re-injuries can come from inadequate recovery where the body isn’t fully healed yet). This is where cross training fits in.  It’s keeping a well roundedness to your exercise program that strengthens and works a variety of muscles instead of the just the ones benefitting from one particular sport only.

While the major benefit of cross training is injury prevention by far, it’s not the only one.  It can also help with rehabilitation too.  When an injury occurs, no athlete wants to stop working out altogether and lose any progress they’ve made so cross training and exercising different body parts can still keep up fitness and activity levels.  Here, some muscles can rest, while others recover.  You can still train somewhat even while injured.

Improved fitness and strength can also be achieved by cross training.  Because certain sports focus on a specific combination of muscles, some muscles see over use while others are neglected.  Effective cross-training will enable the use of these other muscles and strengthen them.  Think about someone who is a runner, there’s fantastic cardiovascular exercise though a lot of hard impact on the joints, but when combined with yoga, allows a stronger and more stable core to be developed and promotes suppleness, fluidity and flexibility.

Improved motivation and excitement by changing up things helps keep one from becoming bored.  Trying out a new sport brings in a nice challenge while keeping fitness fresh and differentiated.  This keeps us from being stuck in a rut or in a plateau and can help us constantly evolve and grow athletically. You can also be flexible with your training needs (if you can’t run outside due to weather, you can lift weights at the gym).

Cross training and incorporating different activities into your main sport can not only help make you a better athlete overall, but enhance focus, keep you enthusiastic about exercise, and help keep you from injuries,  Like the old saying, never keep your eggs in one basket (one sport) but diversify your interests in staying healthy and fit as well!

 

 

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