In the 25 years that cross-training has been popularized, athletes around the world have incorporated it into their routine. Switching up your normal routine with crossover sports will help you improve muscle endurance and efficiency for enhanced performance. Regardless of your primary sport, cross-training is an effective way to help prevent injury and improve your overall athleticism, strength, and endurance.
“Spreading the strain of working out over different joints and muscles allows athletes to exercise for longer durations and more frequently with less stress on delicate areas of the body.”– The American Council on Exercise (ACE)
What does cross-training look like for the average athlete?
Incorporating variety into your training using crossover sports can help prevent overuse injuries derived from repetitive strain. Working out the muscle groups associated with your primary sport through low-impact alternate angles will develop your overall strength and stability. Using other muscles—outside of those typically worked on for your sport—will enhance your overall fitness, balance, flexibility, and agility.
For example, basketball and volleyball players both rely upon jumping skills, hand-eye coordination, and quick lateral movements,. If you only play one of these sports competitively, cross-training activities with the other will positively impact the way you move in your primary sport.
Aside from the primary benefits of improved fitness, coordination, and flexibility, cross-training can help your mental game. Incessant training for one singular sport can not only limit physical potential, but can lead to mental drain and burnout. Changing things up on a regular basis will allow certain muscles to rest while strengthening others. It will also give your mind a break from stressing over your primary training. Overall, cross-training can help in both physical and mental recovery and health.
Elevate your game by incorporating cross training year-round!
Ian McQueen is a gold-level CoachUp basketball coach in the greater Sacramento area who has completed over 300 sessions on the platform! He works with basketball players of all ages in both individual and camp settings. Check out his profile and book a session today!