Athletes work hard to advance their skills to their best possible performance. Competitive athletes might find themselves playing professionally and earning considerable salaries and fame. To rise to this level, many athletes use crossover sports to fully engage their muscle groups and improve their skills and capabilities. Crossover training is an excellent way to prevent injury, increase fitness and avoid stagnation.
By practicing good, mindful exercise with crossover sports, athletes can train their bodies for maximum flexibility, stability and agility without sacrificing health. A regular crossover routine enhances athletic performance and keeps minds and bodies in top shape.
What Is Cross-Training in Athletics
Cross-training uses multiple exercise regimens to develop an athlete's overall fitness and skill. Participating in activities outside the regular sports training helps prevent injuries, strain and overuse while working different muscle groups. Many athletes use crossover sports to help hone their skills outside of their regular season. A crossover sport incorporates similar skills to the athlete's primary sport while building out underused muscle groups and resting others that see extended activity during the primary season.
Many athletes will use crossover sports to improve their fitness and ability without injuring themselves during off-periods. For example, 88% of NFL draft picks in 2018 played multiple sports in high school. By training different muscle groups and skills, athletes become well-rounded so they can reach their peak performance.
Benefits of Cross-Training
There are many benefits to cross-training for athletes and everyday exercisers. Incorporating variation into your routine works different muscle groups, strengthens your support muscles, and allows alternate areas a break from their usual strain. Keeping things fresh helps you set goals and stay motivated through training so you can avoid burnout and fatigue. If you often perform high-impact exercises, switching to low-impact workouts and sports occasionally will work other muscle groups and skills.
Switching up a routine with crossover sports allows you to improve muscle endurance and efficiency for overall better performance. With cross-training, you can:
- Prevent injuries.
- Prevent muscle imbalance.
- Decrease burnout.
- Improve your overall fitness.
- Perform better.
Strengthening different muscle groups creates better muscle coordination, stability, and flexibility. Neglecting muscles not used in the primary sport can lead to imbalances and injury since primary muscles are overdeveloped compared to the rest of the body. Maintaining a strong, stable condition creates better physical fitness and allows athletes to exercise more often without causing damage.
Athletes working on sports specialization can use cross-training to prevent injuries while improving their overall ability, muscle strength, endurance, and interest. Keeping your mind and muscles fresh with varied activity develops fundamental fitness skills for enhanced performance and enjoyment.
How Cross-Training Reduces Injury
Participating in crossover sports improves performance and skill and helps athletes reduce injuries. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) notes that spreading out the strain of working out over different joints and muscles allows athletes to exercise for longer durations and more frequently with less stress on more delicate areas of the body.
Incorporating variety into your training using crossover sports can help prevent overuse injuries from repetitive strain. Working different muscle groups or even the same muscles through low-impact or alternate angles develop overall fitness and stability. Using other muscles improves your body's total fitness and strength, helping with balance, flexibility, agility and endurance.
Crossover sports also help with muscle rest and recovery. Training with new sports allows your other muscles to rest from strain and use. For example, runners can participate in swimming for a low-impact sport that improves their endurance and cardiovascular fitness without impacting joints. This enhances new muscle groups and athletic skills without sacrificing fitness or joint health.
Athletes should be aware of overuse while practicing crossover sports. Pushing the body too hard can lead to physical injury, regardless of which muscle groups you focus on. Remember to allow yourself rest days, focus on proper form and technique, and eat well to keep yourself in top condition.
Consistent cross-training with good form can help improve your overall fitness and agility, reduce repeat muscle strain and prevent injury for athletes. Participating in crossover sports can keep exercise fun and fresh, keeping you entertained and healthy without inducing burnout. Working with a professional trainer can assist you in developing muscle mass and tone while improving your overall athletic ability for better performance.
Top Sports for Cross-Training
Using cross-training can be a fun way to further develop fitness skills and endurance for athletes. It can also lead to a long and successful athletic career. National Basketball Association (NBA) players who were crossover athletes in high school had fewer injuries and longer careers than athletes who were not. Crossover sports use similar movements and skills to an athlete's primary sport, helping them build fundamental skills in speed, agility and power without overusing their muscle groups.
Some crossover sports help develop athletic skills and strategies include:
- Lacrosse and soccer: Both field sports help with endurance and agility. Players must strategize on the field with teammates and work together to score. While both involve running, lacrosse uses arm-strength and hand-eye coordination, while soccer emphasizes footwork. This alternation helps rest the arm and leg muscles involved in each sport.
- Basketball and volleyball: These two sports rely on strong ankles and jumping skills and hand-eye coordination for success. The verbal collaboration of teammates while on the court and the quick, lateral movements required in each sport help athletes hone their defensive and offensive skills.
- Football and wrestling: Both sports' physical, high-contact nature means athletes need strong balance, upper-body strength, and agility. Participating in each of these provides athletes with training in leverage, defensive maneuvers, and force.
- Running and swimming: Running and swimming help athletes develop endurance and lung control. Swimming helps take the strain off joints while improving overall muscle strength and power.
There are many combinations of crossover sports athletes can participate in. Finding the two or three that help engage your mind and cultivate better fitness will allow you to reach your full athletic potential while preventing injury.
Play Sports and Train at Spooky Nook Sports
Athletes can use crossover sports and training to achieve peak physical performance. While crossover work helps prevent injuries, working with a professional to safely and efficiently develop fundamental skills and abilities will help maximize athletic ability while minimizing strain. At Spooky Nook Sports, our expert sports performance training gives you the regimen you need to achieve your goals, elevate your fitness and build out your weak points.
Working alone helps cultivate good personal fitness, but working with a team hones your strategic and cooperative skills. Consider joining our team training to take your athletic abilities to the next level. Jumpstart your fitness journey with Spooky Nook Sports and become a better athlete using our specialized programs today.
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