Cross-training at Home
Do you love to exercise or dread it?
One of the keys to success with any exercise program is finding something you enjoy. Whether it’s running, walking, biking, or your favorite group exercise instructor, cross-training is essential to help prevent pain, injury, and boredom. Additionally, research shows that it’s important for longevity to change up your workout routine. Cross-training can take a variety of forms from a change in intensity or impact (think high versus low), a change in resistance or strength, or simply picking a different type of activity.
What does this mean for you if you’re training for a half marathon?
With distance training, you will most likely be running at least two to three times a week. In addition to changing up your runs from tempo to speed work to drills, cross-training is an essential component to your training program. Cross-training for runners can include one or more days of weights, core, or low-to-no impact exercise. Swimming or biking on your non-run days not only changes your movement patterns but challenges your muscular and cardiovascular systems differently than running.
Similar to carpal tunnel syndrome, which typically occurs from repetitive stress, sports injuries can be the result of a lack of cross-training other muscles groups and other planes of motion. There are three planes of motion; sagittal, frontal, and the transverse planes. Running predominantly involves the sagittal plane. Rotation of lower body joints and the pelvis are also involved in running, making movements in the frontal plane an important part of cross-training and injury prevention for runners.
Examples of frontal plane movements, with or without resistance from a loop band, may include:
- Side steps
- Stationary lateral toe taps
- Crab walks
- Lateral hops
Consider incorporating ten lateral movements on each side into one of your weekly training runs.
Looking to incorporate cross-training at home?
You don’t need access to a gym or weights. There are several exercises you can do at home with little-to-no equipment. Start by downloading a free Tabata app. Then, complete the exercises below from three to eight times. This cross-training workout for runners involves multiplanar movements and will get your heart rate up fast.
Set your intervals for 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest. Complete eight cycles.
- Jumping jacks
- Push ups
- Lateral lunges
- Single leg lateral hop
- Mountain climbers
- Split stance jump squats
- Reverse lunges
Rest for 60 seconds. Repeat.
Before deciding on the type and frequency of your cross-training, consider your fitness goals and remember to have fun!