Have you tried engaging in two or more sports and actually excelling in both or all? Try cross training. You might be actually good at it!
If you wish to better your performance in your chosen sport, maybe the best thing is to take up another. This technique, known in fitness circles as cross training, has been used for a long time by many great athletes in furthering their performance. Cross training, in essence, means engaging in two or more sports activities in a routine. Support for this kind of training is provided by many studies that assert that combining sports or exercises improve performance, and correspond to many health benefits.
In a 1995 study, golfers who performed 15 lifting exercises and six stretches thrice a week for a period of eight weeks increased their golf swing by five miles an hour, which corresponds for a six percent improvement. What makes the study more amazing was the participants retained their old golfing ways, playing the same times as before. Participants also lost three pounds of fat, added four pounds of muscle, and increased their overall strength by 56%. In a separate study made by researchers in the University of New Hampshire, runners who used weights for 10 weeks had a five percent performance boost, which was enough to improve their running times by an average of 20 seconds.
Cross training also offers more benefits than better athletic performance. Athletes who cross train are in less risk for injuries, and recover faster from them. It also removes monotony in an exercise routine, thereby adding spice to an otherwise dull and boring set.
Maximizing the benefits of cross training requires smart exercising on the part of the individual. He must know the muscle groups his sport trains, and use this information to vary his exercises. If one is a cyclist, one uses his legs more. Hence, it is useful to incorporate upper body exercises. Simply put, one could vary his sports activities by taking time out to do other things. One can swim, run, and play another sport. He can even work out at home if you ask me.
Cross training could work wonders for your athletic performance, so better start your own routine today.