Athletes of all levels are looking to step up their game through training in many ways. Sport-specific training is common but many athletes find immense benefits through cross-training. The training could be that of another sport that applies to another. An example would be that of training like a boxer to improve hand speed of an offensive lineman. The training should benefit the athlete’s sport as certain activities can be counterproductive. A football player trying to gain weight is not going to want to do a full distance track workout. Finding something that can is enjoyable is essential. Training becoming monotonous is a recipe to plateau in performance. The following are ideas for cross-training along with how it can improve athletic performance.
Working out and maintaining a high heart rate is commonly associated with high-impact exercise. Running as well as group fitness workouts like that of Crossfit can be tough on the joints over time. The right technique needs to be mastered to avoid injury. Flailing around can be tough on the shoulders so take time to learn the technique. Rehabbing injuries in a pool is also wise as a joint or muscle can engage without the same stress that on land movements cause. The core strength swimming builds is beneficial for any sport. For those looking to increase body mass, this might not be the best form of cardio to undertake. Swimming is associated with burning immense amounts of calories due to being a full-body workout. Swimming is an exercise that taps into the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems.
Combat Sports/Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Combat sports are some of the toughest physically and in terms of training. An exhausting athletic match is one thing, it is another when that event is combined with being punched or thrown to the ground. Training for these sports is intense as the body needs to be ready for the punishment and in condition for the fight. Combat sports stress a lot of flexibility as many incorporate kicks or wrestling. The history of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and many other combat sports like kickboxing which both have roots traced back to Asia. BJJ had a Japanese diplomat help form the martial arts style in the 1900s.
Olympic Weightlifting Movements
Olympic weightlifting movements can help with vertical leap and explosiveness off of a block. Combining these movements with plyometric exercises like box jumps can improve a vertical leap. All sports require some form of explosiveness and building this will take specific training. Athletes differ in their natural explosive nature but this can be trained to become elite. Average ability can be surpassed through intelligent/targeted training. Hang cleans are a movement that needs to be practiced as it is easy to injure yourself if this exercise is done incorrectly with heavy weights. Clean jerks are very much the same but training these alone is far less dangerous than hang cleans into an overhead jerk. Deadlifts are a major muscle exercise that an athlete can reap immense benefits from. These benefits multiply if the sportrelies on explosive jumping or power.
Interval Training on a Stationary Bike
Interval training can help with endurance and be a perfect way to jumpstart metabolism in the morning. Being able to get in a workout after a long day at work or traveling can yield huge benefits to performance. Recovery is important but someone trying to improve athletic performance should put in time daily to do so. High-intensity interval training or HIIT is popular for those training for maximum performance. The lower volume of work and simplicity of this type of workout makes it easy to complete anywhere.
Yoga is great for an athlete of any sport to practice as flexibility is important in all sports. The mental relaxation while staying active can also be perfect for an athlete. Reducing stress is essential for athletes far too worried about their performances. Yoga does have a mental component which makes it popular for those looking to exercise. Athletes also find it relaxing and beneficial for athletic performance. Yoga needs to be scaled by ability levels as a beginner can be quite intimidated trying to attempt difficult positions. Bringing a yoga mat and block will be essential as well as picking a class that matches your skill level. Intense yoga sessions can help maintain heart rate and allow muscles to become more flexible.
Cross-training can help an athlete bust through a plateau via improving other areas of their athleticism. Take the time to assess where you need to start improving your game or performance today. Take your assessments to find the perfect fit for a means of training that you will enjoy doing! Sport-specific training is not the only way to get the results you desire.