Monday, February 22, 2010


Crosstraining means exercises that are different from your primary form of training. For a walker or runner that means activities other than walking or running. Crosstraining should make you better at your primary sport, unless you are just seeking overall fitness in lew of practicing a primary sport.

The first thing you need to do to plan your crosstraining is determine which muscles you are using with your primary sport. I'm a race walker so I use the leg muscles that propell me forward more than the muscles that raise the knee. So I do an exercise like running in the pool with a high knee lift to work those muscles.

I walk on level hard surfaces normally so an exercise like hiking trails or even just walking on grass will work my legs differently. In addition walking or hiking works the stabalizer muscles that help with balance. You can't go fast on grass or dirt but you can build strength.

A good way to crosstrain with your primary workouts is to vary the speed and the elevation. I do hills at least once a week and if I can I'll do some hill work with every workout. Hills not only build strength but they make you faster in races with hills. The muscles used for hills are used differenty than the same muscles on flat land.

When you vary your speed you work different fibers in your muscle, everyone had heard of the fast twitch and slow twitch. When you do accelerations, sprints and interval track work you are working the whole range of muscle fibers.

Hummm, sounds like you can crosstrain and do your primary sport all at the same time, what a concept. A walker uses more core and upper body muscles that running but you still need to make sure you are as well rounded as possible. Classes like pilaties and muscle pump are great for hitting all the upper body muscles if the instructor's routine is a good one. But you can do a routine that works everything with just a little thought as to which muscles are working when you are doing a routine.

Our bodies have muscles on the front, back and sides so you need to make sure you get some twists and bends during your exercise. A good way to do that is to add trunk twists to your warm up and toe touches to your cool down. Remember don't stretch before exercise stretch when you have warmed up, or better yet after your training to cool down.

Thanks for reading.

Rambling Panda

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