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 really. One thing that's not always as well-known though is how a cross trainer effects running.

Using other forms of cardio to boost performance elsewhere, like in running, for example, is actually (ironically) called cross-training, so it makes sense that the cross trainer has its uses for it! If you think about it, there are bound to be at least SOME areas.

Let's break it down.

Cardio/stamina

Man using a cross trainer

One of the first ways that a cross trainer helps your running is by helping to build up your stamina and improving your cardiovascular health. Much in the same way that 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 of time, you are helping your body grow and adapt to be able to deal with different conditions. That's perfect for running. You can change the resistance to get harder or softer workouts, as well as change your pace to get your heart rate to exactly where it needs to be. That's not always something that you can easily do if you are running out and about!

Muscle use

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 to 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 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 form explosive plyometric movement and is instead on pushing backwards almost.

Recovery

So, that's the more obvious ways that 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, and that means that it's much better for your knees and the rest of your legs as well, 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 in excess risk.

Variation

Woman using a cross trainer

The last thing we'll look at here is more of 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 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 though; 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!

Exercise.co.uk Cross Trainers


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If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.