Cross Training: What's the big deal?
Summer is here! Hurray!! School is out and time for play!
But did you know that now is one of the best times to take a break from your regularly scheduled sport and cross train? Cross training means to train in different sports. Although many sports are year round, summertime is a reasonable time for many to let those overused muscles rest and train them in different ways.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all kids take 2-3 months off from their sport to allow overused muscle groups to rest and to decrease the risk for injury. ( AAP Overtraining Statement )
Most top notch athletes cross train year round to improve strength, balance, coordination and flexibility.
Tips for Cross Training:
- If you play a sport that typically uses only certain muscle groups play something else that uses different muscle groups or those same muscles in different ways. For example if you are a soccer or lacrosse player who uses their legs muscles to run a lot try swimming, cycling or rowing. If you are a baseball player or swimmer who uses their arms a lot try running, lacrosse or surfing.
- Make it fun! Pick a sport you might never think of trying…you never know what you might like!
- Biking and swimming are great aerobic exercises that build cardiovascular endurance and can help with flexibility and strength. When dealing with overuse leg injuries (knee, leg, hip or ankle pain, sprains, etc..) these 2 activities can keep people active and in shape while they are recovering or taking time off.
- Don’t forget to focus on your flexibility and core body strength during your in and off seasons! Flexibility and core body strength (stomach, back, buttocks and hip muscles) are super important for playing sports especially in your pre-teenage and teenage years!
What is your favorite cross training activity?
Watch for more summer training tips
to keep young athletes healty and strong!
Until next time.