What exactly is cross training and why is it so important?
Cross training is simply a fitness routine that combines different types of complementary training that work towards a common goal. Our bodies are adaptive machines that get better at handling whatever stress is repeatedly endured (e.g. running or lifting weights). When you mix up your workouts, your body has more opportunity to positively adapt without overusing muscles which can lead to injury.
For example, if you took the same boxing class every day for 60 days, it would presumably feel less physically taxing by day 60 than it felt on day 1. Your body will adapt to those exercises over time and operate more efficiently. In order to continue to see results; however, whether you're analyzing your performance in the ring or the number on your bathroom scale, it's important to try cross-training, like jogging, swimming or yoga, to keep your body working inefficiently. Integrating a variety of complementary modalities into your workout plan can help you overcome plateaus, reach your fitness goals, and prevent injuries that can occur when you over-train one subset of muscle groups.
Ketanga Fitness Retreats incorporate cross training through planned activities and fitness classes that are complementary, like hitting the slopes and stretching on the Pilates & Ski Retreat in Park City and incorporating some yoga workshops into a boxing program on the Box Party in the Bahamas retreat. On the latter, we are excited to have special guest Coach join who will lead a few optional classes designed specifically to facilitate recovery for boxers and mixed martial artists. Seem like a stretch? Not really! In fact, here are the top five benefits of hitting your mat after you've hit the ring:
1. Yoga improves balance and core stability, which sharpens your agility on offense and defense.
2. Yoga improves range of motion in the shoulders, arms, hips, legs and torso. In addition to improving your extension, stretching and posing during yoga creates length in the muscles to counteract the impact of regularly training with pads and bags.
3. Yoga prevents injury by alleviating stiffness in the neck/shoulders from holding tight guards, soreness in the hands and wrists from high-volume punching, and back pain from sharp torso and head movement.
4. Yoga improves breath control, which increases stamina and decreases your blood pressure and heart rate to reduce mental static that can cloud your mind-body connection.
5. Yoga facilitates mindfulness, which reduces anxiety and improves your attention span, even during recovery.
What are your favorite ways to cross train? Comment below! And click to learn more about Box Party in the Bahamas where we'll bring this boxing and yoga combo to life!