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Cross training, whether it’s done as whole other sport or alternate activity can be a fantastic mental and physical break from your regular training. Splitting up your daily routine with weight-lifting, spinning or swimming for example, gives you a whole new set of skills to focus on and inserts you into a fresh atmosphere with a different group of people.

A big benefit of cross training is that it tends to work muscle groups that get underutilized if you only stick to one sport. Strengthening these muscles can improve your training in other areas like balance and form.  As a new approach to an athlete’s workout routine, cross-training can also increase power, add flexibility, build stability, and increase motivation.

Look at cross training as a way to explore other areas of exercise and fitness. You’ll get the opportunity to meet new people, learn a new discipline and train your body at the same time. Some winter friendly ideas are:

  • Indoor rock climbing
  • Spinning
  • Swimming (or deep water runs)
  • Dance classes
  • Yoga or Pilates
  • Resistance training
  • Dodgeball
  • Martial arts class
  • Any winter sport – cross country skiing, hockey, curling or skating clubs are numerous and easy to join

Once you step away from your chosen sport for a while you’ll be able to return to it with a different perspective. You may find that you are more enthusiastic and have a greater appreciation for your training. Keep in mind that cross training doesn’t need to be just a winter event, incorporating some alternate exercises will help to prevent burn out and overuse injuries as well. 

References from the SIRC Collection:  

1. Arseneau L. Using cycling for cross training. Coaches Plan/Plan Du Coach. 2010 2009;16(4):14.
2. Deep Water Running for Injured Runners. Athletic Therapy Today. March 2007;12(2):8-10.
3. Rosania J. CROSS TRAINING. Swimming World. July 2007;48(7):30-31.
4. JOUBERT D, ODEN G, ESTES B. The Effects of Elliptical Cross Training on VO2max in Recently Trained Runners. International Journal Of Exercise Science. January 2011;4(1):243-251.
5. Krause P. The Benefits of Cross-Training. AMAA Journal. Spring2009 2009;22(2):9-16.
6. Poynton E. Stress Fractures. Modern Athlete & Coach. January 2011;49(1):16-17.
8. Vleck V, Alves F. Cross-training and injury risk in British Olympic distance triathletes. British Journal Of Sports Medicine. April 2011;45(4):382.

The information presented in SIRC blogs and SIRCuit articles is accurate and reliable as of the date of publication. Developments that occur after the date of publication may impact the current accuracy of the information presented in a previously published blog or article.