Getting in your best shape ever requires a lot of effort and a lot of sacrifices in your daily schedule.
There are lots of ways to workout in order to try to achieve that, but it seems that cross training just might be at the top of the list. You can get best shape ever with cross training, following examples which show that this really works.
All pros or wanna be pros athletes are always trying to improve their skills, starting their every day schedule with a very healthy diet and finishing with an intense workout program. But notice this, most of them are only focused on workouts that are just about their sport. All of that are totally correct and no one will say that they are doing something wrong. My suggestion though is that, they could apply a different technique in their schedule and that is of course, cross training. Most serious athletes in any sport are nowadays doing some cross training.
Within this post, I am going to explain what cross training is, the benefits of it and give you a few examples from top athletes that we already know they did it.
Cross Training – The Meaning
In case you have never heard of the word cross training, don’t confuse it with cross fit. Cross training is totally different. It’s when an athlete’s training, crosses two sports or more, in order for that athlete to benefit at his main sport. Makes sense right? It is like if my main sport is soccer and I am performing exercises for soccer, but at the same time I am having sessions of kickboxing in order to benefit at soccer.
The Main Benefits
No matter the sport you practice, if you manage to find your cross sport or sports that fit your schedule, then you will be away ahead of your competition. The main benefits are below.
– Best shape ever: The use of several muscles from crossing workouts, will lead to your best shape ever.
– Reduce the risk of injury: When performing your main sport you are using certain muscles. Crossing workouts with another sport then you are using different muscles. That leads to avoid the overuse of certain muscles, thus it can prevent injuries.
– Open mind: When training your main sport every day, doing the same all year around, you might lose focus or simply get bored. By cross training, you get to practice new moves, exercises and set new targets. It keeps your mind positively occupied and takes you out of your comfort zone, thus you keep an open mind.
– Weight loss: different types of exercises will enhance the fat burning system of your body, thus will lead to weight loss.
– Active recovery: Many athletes usually take a day to rest but finally get bored. Of course everyone wants their sore or tight muscles to rest a bit, but this can be achieved through active recovery as well. Take this as an example: My main sport is weight lifting and my active recovery is yoga or pilates. This cross training will give me a good stretching and flexibility of the muscles that will end up helping me rest, thus it is called an active recovery.
This basketball legend has his name connected with the NBA Hall of Fame, worldwide basketball and the most famous athletes of all times. He had Mixed Martial Arts as his cross training.
Shaq always used to practice basketball but that wasn’t enough for him. He felt that basketball was more wrestling and he wanted to get more physicality. That’s why he started training in MMA and this lead to the best shape in his life. MMA was the reason he became a four (4) times champion in NBA and he loves that sport up to this day.
This world-class soccer player has his name connected with European soccer and he is one of the most well-known athletes in England. He had boxing as his cross training.
During his teenage years he would go straight to the boxing gym after football training. It was because of boxing that he was physically ready to play in the Premier League at age sixteen (16) and become one of the youngest players ever to achieve that. Besides the physical condition, boxing had also helped him set his life goals and have self-discipline.
This world-class golf player has his name connected with the greatest golfers in history and the most famous athletes of all times. He had running and weight lifting as his cross training.
“In all sports, it’s about the legs” Tiger quoted. He used to run a thirteen (13) hours marathon in order to improve his legs strength and his endurance. Because of that, he never felt tired at a gold tournament.
By lifting weights he was getting stronger and that’s why he was able to handle different scenarios in a tournament. On top of that, he derived a lot of his confidence from his training.
There are a lot more athletes that I could talk about as well, but I think you get the point. Taking examples coming from worldwide known athletes, I truly believe there is no doubt that cross training works to the maximum. We must always learn from the best.
You could change your weekly schedule and add a cross training or you could just do it during your pre-season or even off-season. This is up to you. Always take advice from your team or individual coaches though, before making your decision. I hope you are convinced about it and you could give it a shot. After all, I am sure you want to get best shape ever and progress more than others in your main sport.
P.S. Feel free to share this post and leave a comment below with any questions or ideas or even your own experiences. I would be happy to hear from you.