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How Cross-Training Can Improve Your Workout Routine

Fitness • November 13, 2015

When you step into class at The Fhitting Room, you mentally prep yourself for burpees, squats, box jumps and various other High Intensity Training (HIT) exercises. You know you’re about to torch calories, build muscle and sweat like crazy. What you may not know is that you’re simultaneously training for a marathon. Excuse me, what? Well, HIT workouts we employ at The Fhitting Room serve up a generous mix of aerobic and strength training, both of which lead to a better run. Performing other forms of aerobic exercise (i.e., spinning, swimming, rowing, etc.) decreases the burn out and wear-and-tear on your body that may happen if you overload on running. This is why it is best to “cross-train.” Simply put, cross-training is training in two or more types of workouts in order to improve fitness and performance, especially in a main sport.

Research proves that short bursts of rigorous exercise can improve your cardiovascular fitness more than running alone. It changes the way your body uses oxygen, which translates to greater speed and longer muscle endurance. And the strength component? Strong muscles and joints lead to better balance, flexibility and mobility. If you’ve got a strong back, core and arms, you’re going to rely on them during your run and tire much later than a runner who neglected strength training.

Read on for three HIT exercises that will up your running game, and if you know an avid runner who isn’t cross training, feel free to pass this along. See you at the races!

Kettlebell swings engage your glutes and hamstrings. They target the muscles in your lower back and help boost mobility in your hips.

Start standing, feet slightly wider than shoulder-width. Hinge at the hips, keeping your back flat and bringing the kettlebell between your legs. Keep your weight in your heels and do not let the kettlebell drop below your knees. Squeeze your glutes tight and straighten your legs with a quick, snapping motion from the hips, bringing your upper body back to standing with the kettlebell in front of you. Repeat.

This explosive conditioning move uses only your body weight to work your arms, chest, legs and abs.

Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down, bringing your hands to the ground. Shoot your feet back, lowering your chest to the ground. Jump your feet forward, returning to squat position. Finish by jumping straight up,bringing your arms overhead. Repeat.

This is a low-impact move that improves muscular endurance in your quads and glutes – mega-useful in running long distances!

Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, gripping a medium to heavy kettlebell in each hand. Alternating legs, take a large step forward, lowering your rear-knee towards the ground, keeping your front shin vertical. Push back to the starting position.