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Cross Training

Lavinia Gomez explains how cross-training in other sports can improve performance in your chosen sport.

Cross-training refers to the athletic training in sports, where the sports are other than the particular sport of the athlete. It is about filling gaps, that is, it brings effectiveness in those aspects of the athlete's performance which are not covered by the athlete's chosen sport. In this way, it produces a complete performer.

All the training related to one sport is not enough to bring out the best in a player. Certain other kinds of exercises are also required to prepare him for that sport. Cross training does that. For example, cross-training might work on those muscles on which the earlier sport-specific training did not work.

Cross training leads to complete body fitness as it combines various methods of training. Various kinds of exercises are there like stretching, yoga, strength training, swimming, bicycling, aerobics, running, walking, climbing, dancing, push-ups and swimrun for cross training. There can be far more types of exercises besides these, though these are some common ones. Cross training can help in curing some injuries which would have otherwise remained forever. It can heal, it can protect as well prepare by giving strength to a sportsperson.

Talking about the benefits of cross training, there can be a long list. This is so because there are many sports, each having its specific training methods. One can use his own sport's particular training methods and use some from others that he thinks he requires. Some of the benefits of cross training are as follows:

  • Cross training, as mentioned above, helps to prevent injuries. It works on the body in a way, that it makes it solid enough to handle stress, hence protecting the body from going through serious injuries.
  • The most common benefit of cross-training is improved performance by an athlete.
  • It is good for the mind and body as it rejuvenates both for all kinds of activities.
  • It can increase career length as it works efficiently on keeping the body fit and fine.
  • Cross training is a way of motivating oneself as well as enjoying the different new ways of training. For example, the cricketers also play football to enhance their game and enjoy the company of others during training. This makes work interesting and challenging.
  • It not only prevents injuries but also heals them. Cross training, if done properly, has the power to cure injuries, which even the best medication cannot do.
  • Obviously, it helps to reduce weight and is good for runners.
  • It can help in coping with certain medical conditions like arthritis, diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.
  • It helps to achieve a balance between strength and endurance.
  • Cross training can be done sometimes with limited tools. Natural environment also allows one to train himself for some particular purpose.

Cross training makes you a stronger, more flexible and more well-rounded athlete. Although you may have a particular favourite exercise or sport, varying up your routine will improve your performance more than sticking to one particular workout ever could.

Hence, it can be said that cross-training is a full circle that covers all the aspects related to sports and performance by sportspersons.

When can Cross Training be Applied?

It can be applied in different forms for different athletes during various stages of their preparation. It should be taken care of what exercises are being done, to what extent and for how long. Their timings should also be considered. Many other factors like eating habits should be monitored.

Cross training can be done at all times while keeping a check on the type and extent of exercise. During training sessions, these can be extended to a much higher level as compared to the exercises during other times. Some particular training techniques can be applied at the time of competitions and during training year of the athlete.

For Whom is Cross Training appropriate?

Cross training is something that is for everyone. It can be applied by sportspeople engaged in any sport. It is useful for athletes, for events as well as for all kinds of sports. It can also be said that some daily activities too can be a form of cross training, hence cross training is appropriate for all. Also, even if pregnant women can apply this if they wish to, say, do running. Handicapped persons can make use of it. An example of the same can be the Paralympics where handicapped athletes show their talent and determination.

How to Apply Cross Training?

Cross training application requires a good trainer who can assess the sportsperson's abilities as well as minus points that need to be worked upon. So it is necessary to find a good trainer for the same. There can be many methods that can help one cross train oneself. Some of the exercises in cross training are as follows:

  • Crossfit: It is the most common type of method. It builds strength and endurance.
  • Cross Country Skiing: This is a way to really enhance one's endurance as it is highly demanding and the whole body support is required in the process.
  • Swimming: This helps an athlete gain strength, endurance as well as shoulder mobility.
  • Kayaking: Kayaking strengthens the upper body and the core.
  • Running: It is a common one, but really essential. It builds the cardio-vascular system strength.
  • Yoga: Yoga is responsible for creating a balance between body and mind and building muscles by unwinding them.
  • Cycling: Cycling again increases the strength of the body, specifically of the quadriceps, glutes and calves and helps decrease fat. It has some positive impact on the cardiovascular system.
  • Core Strength Training: Core strength needs building up because all the movements of the body originate from the core.
  • Rock Climbing: It brings strength, agility as well as the power to the athlete.
  • Hiking: This can involve handling uneven rocks and handling extreme weather conditions.

Hence, cross training helps an athlete give his level best in his specific sport by providing him with the benefits of different exercises. These exercises work differently on different people, so one has to be careful while choosing the type and extent of an exercise.

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • GOMEZ, L. (2019) Cross Training [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

About the Author

Lavinia Gomez started his training life obese, out of shape and very unfit. Fast forward to the present day and several years of education later, Lavinia can provide you with unparalleled service in the most advanced areas of training, nutrition and supplementation. Own Your Fitness is a premier Personal Training and Nutritional Consultancy.

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