Great Cross-Training Exercises For Runners
|The best way to train to be a better runner and to run faster is of course by running. The problem is that the more running you do, the less of the other forms of exercise you do. And if you run too much, you could actually injure yourself, cause yourself to burnout, or to develop imbalances in regards to your muscles. Therefore, the next best way to train your running is by engaging in cross-training.
It’s essential to engage in cross-training exercises or any exercise that doesn’t involve your usual running because it greatly reduces the chances of your suffering from muscle overuse, burnout, or getting muscular imbalances. Also, doing cross-training exercises helps your body recover quickly and grow stronger much faster. Doing exercises other than just running will provide some great variety to your daily workout routine, and will keep you interesting in exercising for much longer.
When it comes to running, there are two different ways that you can engage in cross-training activities in order to help you run faster and run for longer. You should always pay attention to what your health situation is like, and based on that you can choose the cross-training workouts that are best for you. One of the approaches includes cross-training activities that complement your running, and the other approach is that of engaging in cross-training activities that enhance your running.
Cross-Training Activities that Complement Running
The cross-training exercises that complement your running are those that will use your running muscles in many different ways, and even use muscles that you don’t use when you run. Cross-training exercises that complement your running will help you build more muscles strength while also reducing the chances of injury, muscular imbalance, and general overuse.
Swimming is great for your health, and it’s great for complementing your running because it doesn’t include your body bearing any weight. A non-weight bearing physical activity is great because it allows your bones and joints to rest while still being able to exercise, train your cardiovascular system, and increase muscle strength as well. Swimming is also great because it helps train the body’s range of motion, and is really great for assisting in the healing of injuries. Swimming is also fantastic because it makes you use all of your muscles in your upper and lower body, your arms, your legs, and your back too; this means that your legs can get a little bit of a break, especially from bearing weight, and that’s really important for any runner.
Another really great low-impact activity that doesn’t cause your legs to bear weight is cycling. The good part about cycling is that you can do it on a stationary bike in your home, at the gym, in a spinning class, or even on a real bike while getting some fresh air. The quadriceps and shin muscles usually don’t develop really well in runner, which is exactly what cycling is good for, and that’s really important because they keep the connective tissues in the knees, hips, and ankles in good condition. On a side note, you still don’t want to cycle on days where you don’t run because it is still very strenuous and taxing on your muscles. Therefore it is recommended that you only cycle on the days that you run, or on days that you would have otherwise run on.
The rowing machine is great way to train your upper body muscles, your leg muscles, and your hips too. Keep in mind that rowing requires a proper form, so you might want to get familiar with that form before you start rowing. It’s a great low impact exercise that will give your running muscles a break will still giving you a really intense workout. If you live near a river or a lake, then
you could even try actually rowing with a real boat.
The stair climber is a great way to exercise your leg muscles that you use for running, and for exercising those muscles that running doesn’t involve. Using the stair climber or even walking up a real set of stairs is great because it works out the hip flexors ad the quads too.