Fitness Friday: Cross Training
Cross Training is the best way to put your body into balance with itself. As an athlete, I was constantly pushing my body to the absolute limit. I had to do this in order to compete at a top level. This put my muscles and body out of balance. I had to do many different cross training exercises in order to keep myself from getting overuse injuries. These injuries are caused from doing one motion repetitively without changing the motion. One muscle gets stronger than the opposing muscle, which usually leads to an injury on the weaker of the two muscles.
Muscle Balance: This is one of my favorite soapbox topics. “Muscle balance is a vital component to injury prevention. The major muscle groups work in pairs and those muscle pairs need to be balanced in terms of strength and flexibility. For example, we bend our elbow by using the biceps muscle. Its pair is the tricep muscle. The tricep muscle must be willing to stretch for the bicep muscle to contract and bend the elbow fully.” Check out the link to this article to see the basic opposing muscle groups.
How does this affect you? Well… have you ever had a baby? Having a baby is a little like being a professional triathlete at the world level. (My wife says it’s more difficult. I tell her the dog had 7 at one time, and you’re only working on your third. Get tough!) Your body is contorted into all different ways in order to fashion a small cocoon for your beautiful little stinky pearl. After your grommet is born, you have a lovely sciatic nerve problem, or your feet are 5 sizes larger than they used to be. Or, you have “husband elbow.” (Same thing as tennis elbow, except it’s caused from hitting your husband over a nine-month period.)
Now, your body is officially, “out of balance.” It’s time to get your skeletal system back to normal.
I touched on a little bit of cross training in the three-week schedule from last week. Today, I’ve fashioned a more in depth one-week cross training schedule.
Monday: 15 min walk (remember to use your arms), 3 min of abs (your choice), 3 min of low back (supermans or quadruped)
Tuesday: 20 min of swimming or water aerobics
Wednesday: 20 min walk or optional day off
Thursday: 5 min stretch, 15 min of (1 min jog, 4 min walk)
Friday: 20 min of stretch cord exercises
Saturday: 35 min bike ride
Sunday: Day off
I came up with a nice little acronym for you fitness freaks out there.
Forget the past: Don’t go back and do workouts from previous days. Let the water go under the bridge. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past. Look forward.
Reset your Attitude: In the great words of one of my past coaches (Coach Joe Vigil): “Get Tough!”
Open Your Mind: Open your mind to learning new exercises and ideas.
Deliver: You promised yourself that you would get into shape. Now, make good on your promise.
Overachieve: Become an overachiever in every aspect of your life, especially staying in shape.