Cross training is one of those words often thrown around a lot, yet few people understand it or its power. If you are going to be a successful athlete you are going to need to incorporate cross-training into your training regime. Cross training is what allows you to get away from your regular training regime. It breaks up routines so you can approach each season with a fresh mind and body.
Our current culture has grown against cross training, and it has lead to an increase in injuries and burnout among athletes. The younger you are the more critical it is that you cross train and play different sports. It is not suitable for a youth athlete to play one sport and focus on that one sport all of the time. In the end, the better athlete will always be the one that has a variety of movement skills under their belt.
What is Cross Training?
Cross training is using different sports to train for your primary sport. For example, if a runner wants to get off of the pavement, they may start cross training and doing some pool workouts. You also see a lot of athletes use boxing as a cross-training sport to their primary sport.
Cross training is realizing that every sport has something to offer. If you want to be a great athlete you need to study and take a bit away from each sport. Cross training teach your body how to move with more diversity.
Choose Cross Training Over Early Specialization
It is not uncommon today to see athletes in one sport year around from the age of 7. It sounds like a great idea because a kid has years and years to focus on just being good at one sport.
The truth when you look at many pro athletes is that they often played multiple sports and they were good at those sports. There is a time where you do need to start focusing on one, but you don’t need to worry about that until well into the high school years.
Specialization is rough on the body and the mind. It is hard on the body because every sport has its routines and movement patterns and you can get stuck in those patterns. The reminder to move differently comes when you are cross training or playing a different sport.
Cross Training Helps to Prevent Injury
Think about how the most common sprinting injury is hamstring strains. Football defensive backs are the least likely to have hamstring injuries, and the reason is that of how much time they spend backpedaling. Backpedaling makes the hamstrings much stronger. If a track athlete were to play DB in a track offseason, it would help them not to hurt their hamstring.
Cross training helps you to get away from the same repetitive motions. If a baseball player is throwing all of the time and having shoulder issues, running will help them with moving around the basis while giving their shoulder a break.
Cross training is all about developing weak points but getting entirely away from what you are used too. It is about getting into your comfort zone to see how much you can push yourself.
Cross Training Helps to Prevent Burnout
What happens to a lot of young athletes that do not cross train is by the time they get to high school athletics they don’t want to play anymore. If their body is not spent, their minds are. All of they have done the last ten years of their life is train for one sport. The same motion over and over and it feels like that sport has taken over their life.
When you cross training, it allows you to see that even if you are good at one sport, there are still different worlds out there waiting for you to master them. The challenge of getting better and climbing is always there when you cross train. When you play one sport that challenge may feel like it is gone.
How to Cross Train
There is no one way to cross train. Most people do it during the offseason to make sure that during the season they are laser focused, but it can be done a few different ways.
- Cross training only during offseason of main sport
- Training once a week with cross training – For example One workout a week you do a pool workout
- Cross train for one part of every practice – For example, you could warm up boxing
There are also no rules to the sports that mix for cross training. It all depends on what you enjoy and what you think helps you. The goal is to either work on a weakness through cross-training or to give your body a break from specific movements.
The Risk of Cross Training
The one problem with cross training is the fact that you can also open yourself up to injury if you jump in too hard. You want to make sure that when cross training that you slowly work yourself into the sport. If you have not played basketball in years do not start cross training with a full-court intense game. Start by just playing some easy pickup for 10 minutes.
You want your body to get used to different movements, but the last thing you want to do is get injured because it is not used to cross training in that way. That defeats the whole point, so work your way into it with some humility.
Dealing With Cross Training Injuries
Kho Health lets you search for providers by type and skill. For example, you can look for a Chiropractor that also knows Graston Technique. It does not matter what kind of provider you need, Kho Health can help you find them and help you to sort through their skills.
If you are unsure where to start your journey, Kho Health will ask you questions and help you figure out the best starting place. All you have to do is answer a few questions. From there Kho Health will connect you with the type of provider best suited for your needs. It does not matter if you are injured or just sore from cross training.
The platform makes it easy to compare health providers as they are all given a Kho Number. Once you are shown the best local options, how do you know which is the best? Reading bios and reviews is just not enough because you need more than that.
Skill Sets to Look for In Sports Medicine Providers
Skill sets are the things healthcare providers learn after they graduate. A healthcare provider can take courses and get certifications for different skill sets. These skill sets are valuable and help them approach injuries from different perspectives.
- Dry needling
- Joint Manipulation
- Active Release Technique
- Graston Technique
- Functional Movement Screen
- Fascial Stretching
- Strength and Conditioning Coach
- Athletic Trainer
- Sports Background
- And many more