The following guest post is by Macy Hennings.
Cross training exercises are a variety of fitness routines designed to improve the body's ability to handle stress. It involves performing different movements to help your muscles gain more strength so that it won't easily get injured when performing an intense workout.
There are many ways to cross train; one of the most convenient methods is by using a treadmill.
The treadmill can actually help you conduct a complete gym workout. It allows you to do different kinds of exercise - like aerobic, strength training, balance and coordination, and cardiovascular exercises. All these can be performed with a cross training program on the treadmill. Note that any cross training exercise should be done correctly and consistently in order to attain the biggest gains while avoiding unnecessary injury.
The Importance of Warming Up and Cooling Down
You need to warm up before cross training, and cool down once done. This is important to prepare your body from an intense workout, avoiding possible injuries like burnout, muscle cramps and others. To do a warm-up, simply set your treadmill to a walking of 2 mph, increasing the speed up until 3.5 as you tolerate. Do this for about 5-10 minutes.
Cool down is just as important as warm-up. After an intense cross training, allow your body to gradually rest. You need to let the excess lactic acid leave your muscles. Lactic acid accumulates in the muscles once it uses protein to build and repair tissues. To cool down, simply reduce the speed of your treadmill by 0.5 every minute, until you are walking at 2 mph.
Cross Training Programs
In using the treadmill as a cross training program, you need to combine both aerobic and strength training routines. You can begin by jogging or running. Set the treadmill at a speed of 5 mph, alternating with a speed of 3.5 mph so you can rest in between. You can do this 3.5-5 mph pattern for more than 3 times, or as long as you tolerate.
To train your arms, you can use dumbbells while running on the treadmill.
Strength training will make your muscles stronger as it produces more lean body mass while you burn off fat. To do this, adjust the incline of your treadmill to 6, and increase your speed for about 5-6mph as you run. Maintain this angle and speed for a minute, then gradually rest by returning the incline back to zero while maintaining your speed.
A treadmill is a good investment especially when you are able to use it properly. It is also recommended that you invest in a quality treadmill that can accurately determine the amount of speed, inclination and resistance as you cross. Most fitness buffs cross train with treadmills from Nordictrack. To know how much stress your body can handle, seek the advice of a doctor or a fitness trainer.
Runner’s World: Treadmill Workouts; Owen Anderson; 2001
Fitness Magazine: Tricks of The Tread: Treadmill Interval Workouts; Jenna Autuori-Dedic;
Live Strong: Recommended Treadmill Exercise Routine; Sam Ellyn; 2011