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Benefits of Cross Training

How Good is your Conditioning Program?
        An athlete may think he or she is really fit because their exercises no longer are a challenge. However, this is a serious and mistaken conclusion that this lead to over confidence and sets you up for injury or mental burnout.  After months of performing the same exercises, the body will become quite efficient in performing those movements. This may be what the coach desires leading up to competing, it also limits the amount of overall fitness you possess and reduces and actual conditioning from the training.

        Cross training can help prevent injury and burnout. Cross training provides a tool to control and vary the amount of stress placed on specific muscles and the cardiovascular system allowing a continuation of improvement. Cross training is an excellent way to reduce the risk of injury from repetitive strain or overuse.

        The benefit of cross training is that, when properly designed, it limits the stress that occurs on a specific muscle group through the use of different exercises and activities can be scheduled to use muscles in slightly different ways on different sessions.

Benefits of Cross Training

  • Reduction of boredom
  • Flexibility concerning training needs and plans 
  • A higher level of all total around conditioning is achieved
  • Conditioning of the entire body as opposed to just targeting specific muscle groups
  • Reduces the risk of injury
  • By alternating types of exercises and activities, targets different muscle groups so they can rest and recover
  • Depending on the injury, it may be possible to continue training by modification of the exercises 
  • Improves skills, coordination, strength, agility, and balance
Introduction to Cross Training
      Cross training is a solution that is highly recommend to help prevent injury and burnout. The concept involves introducing different movements into your workouts to condition different muscle groups and develop a new set of skills.

      A secondary benefit is the reduction of boredom that improves performance because each practice session is approached with a fresh mental attitude. The focusing on different sports exposes the body to different training exercise elements which causes a variation of the stress placed on specific muscles and your cardiovascular system.

Crossing Over - Cycling, Yoga, kung fu are great ways to enhance training
     Figure skating demands commitment, hard work, sacrifice and passion from its participants. Driven to be the best, athletes frequently push themselves to the brink in hopes of achieving their often lofty goals. However, this constant intense training can result in tired, over trained and injured athletes rather than top level ones.

     Noted health and fitness author Dr. Marie Miczak recommends cross training as an effective way to cleanse the mind and the body and adopt a fresh look on the coming season. Dr. Miczak alludes to 2004 World bronze medalist Stefan Lindemann, who found cycling to be an excellent way to relieve tired muscles and rejuvenate his training. Lindemann credits much of his success to the training he did on his bike. Strong quads and leg muscles are necessary for jumping and landing, and endurance is imperative to sustain a three-to-four minute routine.

References:

Principles of Sports Training:

Mental Training:

Developing A Training Plan

Physical and Mental Training Considerations

Resources:

The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

   
   
Developing Training Plans for Athletes
Evaluation of Training
Age Training Guidelines
Components of Training Plan
Stages of Acquiring New Skills
Strategies for Training
Strategies for Competing
Fitness Training & Sports
Advanced Training
List Daily Training Tasks
Construction of a Training Plan
Developing An Annual Training Plan
Principles of Global Training
Competitive Training
Starting to Seriously Train
Skating Environment
Peaking Performance
Benefits of Cross Training
Principle of Varying Training
Varying Training Improves Results
Approaches to Training
Approaches to Jump Training
Transferring Knowledge & Skills
Aerobic Activities
Anaerobic Activities
Exercises to Develop Coordination
Off-Ice Activities For Skaters
Fitness and Conditioning
Off-Season Conditioning Activities
Tips for Long Distance Traveling
Mental Barriers to Training & Competing
Mental Considerations for Athletic Training
Mental Training Considerations
Mental Strategies for Training
Endurance Training Activities
Flexibility Training Activities
Bodyweight Exercise Training
Weight Training Activities
Brian Grasso Articles
Evaluation Assessment

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