Too much running can lead to burnout and injuries for even the most hard-core runners and running enthusiasts. Cross-training can be a great way to work through unmotivated phases. Beginners and experienced runners will hit periods when they become bored or uninspired to run. Individuals dealing with injuries need to take time off from running during recovery. Once they are healed enough to engage in physical activity, doctors, trainers, physical therapists, and sports chiropractors recommend low-impact cross-training activities, like swimming or water running/aqua jogging, to lessen the stress on the muscles and joints and help injured athletes maintain their fitness and cope with the frustration of not being able to participate.
Cross-training is any sport or physical activity/exercise that supplements an athlete’s main sport. Whether a beginner or veteran, it balances the muscle groups because it strengthens muscles that don’t get worked out and/or are used less during running. This decreases the chances of worsening the injury and prevents future injuries. Added benefits:
Individuals dealing with an injury may need to train more frequently as part of a rehabilitation and strength training treatment plan. A doctor, chiropractor, or physical therapist will recommend how much cross-training and type of activities will be the most beneficial for the specific injury.
Swimming is an excellent cross-training activity because it’s not weight-bearing, giving the leg muscles and joints a break.
An elliptical machine provides a whole-body cardiovascular workout with the feel of cross-country skiing, stair climbing, and walking.
Rowing is an excellent cardiovascular, low-impact activity.
Yoga provides some of the same benefits as strength training.
Taking days off from running each week to participate in cross-training activities can help maintain motivation.
Alves de Araújo, Maria Erivânia, et al. “The effectiveness of the Pilates method: reducing the degree of non-structural scoliosis, and improving flexibility and pain in female college students.” Journal of bodywork and movement therapies vol. 16,2 (2012): 191-8. doi:10.1016/j.jbmt.2011.04.002
Baltich, Jennifer, et al. “The effects of isolated ankle strengthening and functional balance training on strength, running mechanics, postural control and injury prevention in novice runners: design of a randomized controlled trial.” BMC musculoskeletal disorders vol. 15 407. 4 Dec. 2014, doi:10.1186/1471-2474-15-407
Casado, Arturo, et al. “Training Periodization, Methods, Intensity Distribution, and Volume in Highly Trained and Elite Distance Runners: A Systematic Review.” International journal of sports physiology and performance vol. 17,6 (2022): 820-833. doi:10.1123/ijspp.2021-0435
Claudino, João Gustavo, et al. “CrossFit Overview: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.” Sports medicine – open vol. 4,1 11. 26 Feb. 2018, doi:10.1186/s40798-018-0124-5
Schlegel, Petr. “CrossFit® Training Strategies from the Perspective of Concurrent Training: A Systematic Review.” Journal of sports science & medicine vol. 19,4 670-680. 19 Nov. 2020
Tanaka, H, and T Swensen. “Impact of resistance training on endurance performance. A new form of cross-training?.” Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.) vol. 25,3 (1998): 191-200. doi:10.2165/00007256-199825030-00005
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The information herein on "Cross Training For Runners: EP Chiropractic Team" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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