How a Cross Trainer Helps with Running
Cross trainers up there with the most famous cardio exercise machines out there. It's known for its effectiveness in a low-impact and full-body workout, which is spot on. It has tonnes of benefits. However, one thing that's not always as well-known is how a cross-trainer affects running.
Using other forms of cardio to boost performance elsewhere, like running, is actually (ironically) called cross-training, so it makes sense that the cross trainer has its uses! If you think about it, there are bound to be at least SOME areas.
Let's break it down.
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Cardio & Stamina
One of the first ways that a cross-trainer helps your running is by helping build up your stamina and improve your cardiovascular health. Much like running does, any cardiovascular exercise is great for your heart health and lung function. They're the biggest players in your stamina and endurance.
By raising your heart rate to different levels for different periods, you are helping your body grow and adapt to deal with different conditions. That's perfect for running. You can change the resistance to get harder or softer workouts and change your pace to get your heart rate to exactly where it needs to be. But, unfortunately, that's not always something you can easily do if you run out and about!
Next up on the list for cross trainer benefits to running is the muscle usage you apply. Now, unlike running, a cross-trainer has applications for pretty much your whole body. You can choose where you put the emphasis depending on the technique, but that is the bottom line at the end of the day.
That might not sound like it's going to be the best thing for your running performance, but there's another side to it. You can change the resistance of the cross trainer to aid running directly by making your legs do all the work with a harder resistance. That could even build up more leg muscle, especially in the upper legs, and the movement is taken away from explosive plyometric movement and is instead on pushing backwards almost.
So, that's the more obvious way a cross-trainer helps running, but what about a more relaxed approach? Running is the best thing to improve running after all, right? Well, there's only so much running that you can do, especially to keep your body safe in the long and the short term. That's where the next point comes into full force.
The cross trainer is renowned for being a low-impact exercise, which means that it's much better for your knees and the rest of your legs, in all honesty. Whether you're on more of a rest day or even recovering from an injury, using a cross-trainer instead of running means that you can make sure you aren't putting yourself at excess risk.
The last thing we'll look at here is a cross-over between a mental and a physical benefit. Both are essential to your training in the long run, after all. The cross trainer is awesome for spicing up your training if running is your primary exercise. Again, it seems obvious and maybe even counter-intuitive, but it isn't.
The change of pace keeps your body on its toes so that you don't begin to plateau over time. That's more valuable than you might realise. On top of that, it helps keep things fresh mentally too. Doing the same workouts at the same times in the same places week in and week out can really take its toll on your motivation. Using a cross trainer is just one of the many ways that you can keep things interesting. Spice up your training, and you'll boost your motivation without a doubt. Just make sure that you find the balance!
All in all, the benefits are definitely there if you know where to look. It's always a good call to mix up your training when you can, and all different kinds of exercise have their own benefits. To get the most out of all of them, mix things up. Do note that your rest is just as important as your exercise. Don't overdo it if you want to keep in great shape. Injuries are easier than you think!
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.