Summer vacation is a perfect time and opportunity for athletes to get ahead of fellow competition by ramping up their general fitness. However, equally as important, is the prevention of “burnout” or loss of motivation during these long months. As a solution, athletes should consider including a healthy dose of cross-training into weekly training. Changing up normal fitness routines, and environments, is an easy way to make the most of summertime training and to get ready for pre-season practices. Mix it up with these cross-training ideas:
Get in the water. Get into your local pool and start swimming, or pool jogging. Both exercises improve cardiovascular abilities and are low impact - a perfect solution for athletes looking to heal some bumps and tweaks.
Kayaking, paddle boarding, and surfing are other great activities that can be used for cross-training purposes as well. Just remember to maintain a steady effort and short breaks, to make the most of your activity.
Go inside. Beat the summer heat and thunderstorms by going inside for training. Utilize machines that you aren’t as familiar, such as the elliptical or erg. The erg is an indoor rowing machine. Start out with a low stroke rate and medium resistance if you are a beginner and aim to row 2km. Erging is another great way to get some low impact cardio in and to strengthen your quads and hamstrings.
Go for a bike ride or an outdoor run. Running and biking are some of the best ways to improve aerobic abilities, but unfortunately many athletes opt to do these on machines and lose out on many benefits. When you head out for a bike ride or run pick a course with different terrain and rolling elevation. By doing this, you will get your heart rate up and take your workout from aerobic to anaerobic. Your body will be challenged, improving your overall fitness and burning more calories.
Go to the studio. Try something completely new and find a local yoga or dance studio. Try a ballet barre or aerial yoga class. These classes will not only challenge your body but also your mind as you will focus on total body coordination and control. They may not be high intensity, but you will reap the benefits of working out new muscles groups.
Cross-training is a great way to keep your “head in the game” while taking a break from your main sport. Give these cross-training ideas a try. You will not only improve your fitness but you’ll have some fun in the process!
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