Cross training is effective for getting your body and mind out of a rut of repetitive workouts. Not only is doing the same thing daily boring mentally, but your muscles also become accustomed to performing limited functions. A varied exercise routine helps you maximize your potential, so go ahead and try something new!
Repeating the same exercise routine over and over affects your body similarly to sitting around all day and you will have more health problems than those who change up their exercises. By limiting yourself to one specific exercise or set of movements, you restrict the true range of your muscles and ligaments so when you need to adapt to new circumstances it is harder for your body to adjust. In other words, to maximize your health you should train with a broad spectrum of movements.
For myself, cross training is critical to maintaining a daily workout schedule. I try to balance out exercises throughout the week to alternate large muscle groups and focus on certain smaller groups in between, and as a result I’m never worried about being too sore for my workout the following day. Above all, the variety enables me to push myself by staying interested in and focused on each workout.
More fun facts!…
The first observation of the benefits of cross training was made in 1894 and it has been proven that exercising one set of muscles helps to strengthen other muscles as well.(pages 2 & 4).
Even trained athletes benefit from stepping away from their primary sport and doing other routines. Cross training helps to prevent injuries by changing up the magnitude and direction that our bodies move during workouts, thus reducing the force factor on any single body part.
The American Heart Association is among many organizations that have published studies recommending varied exercises from day to day to maximize the health benefits of working out and to keep people interested in exercising daily. If this can help you stick to your routine in the long term, then it’s definitely worth a shot because only 50% of people who start an exercise program will continue the habit for more than 6 months and, furthermore, exercising more frequently makes it more likely that you will continue doing it!
Here’s a great article that goes into more depth than I do: http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20090519/ARTICLE/905191008?p=all&tc=pgall