Why to Incorporate Cross-Training:

Use Cross-Training Workouts to Supplement Your Training Regimen

On the journey to becoming a better runner, you might think that you only need to focus on running. But if becoming a better, healthier and a stronger runner is your goal, consider adding cross-training workouts to your training routine. Cross-training makes you stronger and healthier, and adding variety to your exercise schedule will make running even easier.

Running works your cardiovascular system in a way that few types of exercise can, working major muscle groups such as your hamstrings, glutes, calves and quadriceps. Think of the human body as a car: Although the engine is primarily responsible for powering the car, it needs all the other parts to move forward efficiently. While the body relies on major muscle groups to run, supplemental muscle groups also need to be working properly and efficiently to maximize your total body exertion and momentum.

Cross-training can help by strengthening and protecting major muscle groups, joints and bones, as well as the supplemental muscles you use on your runs. Strengthening the entire body allows it to move and function as a single unit. In addition, cross-training exercises allow the body a break from the constant impact and stress a heavy running schedule inflicts.


Here are some great cross-training exercises you can use to bolster your usual workout regimen:

  • Rowing. Rowing is an incredible cardiovascular workout that greatly cuts down on the stress running puts on your body. Along with strengthening the muscle group used heavily for running, rowing will also fortify the abdomen, hips and upper body, which make up our core muscles.
  • Cycling. Much like rowing, cycling gives the body a break to recover from the impact of running while still offering a great cardiovascular workout. Cycling also strengthens the lower body and improves the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
  • Kettle bell. Kettle-bell workouts are great for adding power and strength to your routine. Incorporating a kettle bell into your workout will leave your entire body feeling the burn. Before taking on a kettle-bell workout, however, consult with a trained professional at your local gym to learn how to use this equipment properly.
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