Updated: Dec 2, 2022
Above, bilateral waves are performed to strengthen the shoulders and back muscles. Cross-training can improve your physical fitness along with your success in a particular sport.
Although there are hundreds of thousands of incredible athletes, the one thing separating the good from the great is cross-training. Before you question the logic, don’t get it twisted. I am not saying that you shouldn’t put in hours of work on a daily basis in order to master your own craft. For example, in order to be the best baseball player that you can possibly be, there is no way around getting live reps in the batting cage to work on your swing. Similarly, a fantastic swimmer will not succeed unless they physically train in a pool or body of water. However, by incorporating different sports, routines, and exercises into your day-to-day lifestyle, you will undoubtedly see progress over time. Now, let’s take a look at some of the various ways that an athlete can cross-train along with how it can benefit oneself.
As your body begins to grow, it is vital that you consider incorporating weight training into your daily routine. Lifting weights can lead to strengthening of the joints while simultaneously improving your muscular endurance. These improvements can help to reduce your risk of injury while partaking in a sport.
Muscular endurance, otherwise known as the ability to contract a muscle group against resistance, can be the deciding factor of whether or not you can outperform your competitors on gameday. Also, putting time in at the gym will undoubtedly make you feel good about yourself and your progress. By plugging in some headphones and tuning out the world around you, the gym can teach you discipline and perhaps improve your overall quality of life.
While training is essential for success, ensuring that your body is operating properly is equally as important to your overall health. Whether you feel a slight muscle pain or perhaps a minor tweak at a joint, it is crucial that you seek out the help that you need and take proactive steps in order to heal the injury. By addressing the situation immediately, you will be able to resume normal training within a quicker time frame while simultaneously preventing the injury from worsening.
A great example of responding to injury as soon as possible can be seen in Matthew Lucas, a top runner for the MTHS Track and Field team. Recently, Lucas began feeling pain in his right hip flexor, an issue that seemed quite minor yet nevertheless bothered him during training. Rather than sitting back and hoping for it to go away, he immediately began researching a variety of ways to solve the issue and strengthen the muscle.
“I can’t waste any time during the season with an injury. If I notice something is feeling slightly off, I immediately talk to people who can help me get back to feeling fresh and healthy. There is no point in suffering through an injury, especially with the resources that we have today.”
Foam rolling is a great way to loosen muscle tissue and avoid tightness before and after a workout. Using a foam roller can also increase blood flow throughout the body, helping to supply oxygen to different muscles which need to recover.
Although physical exhaustion is common among athletes, the mental aspect of a sport is often overlooked. As a former baseball player and current runner, I have realized over time the importance of diversification in athletics. Whether you are a collegiate athlete or simply an average adult, playing a sport demands both focus and determination from an athlete, two traits which can be difficult to show up with on a daily basis. Quite honestly, training in the same environment every single day can become repetitive and boring. In order to maintain your passion for a sport, it is important to consider allocating some time to a different physical activity or perhaps giving yourself some time to rest.
Summing It All Up
Overall, the goal of cross training and recovery is to maximize your physical abilities in order to become the best athlete that you can be. By allowing yourself to train through a variety of ways rather than having tunnel vision, the mindset of the great marathoner Eliud Kipchoge will pertain to you specifically. “No Human is Limited.”