Cross-training is something athletes swear by during their rigorous workout routines. But how can it benefit the beginner or common gym-goer?
Cross-training is the act of mixing up various activities once or twice per week instead of just focusing on your regular strength training. The goal is to partake in various exercises that keep several muscle groups engaged and develop all-around endurance, strength, and agility.
Cross-training is not only important for full body development but also for lowering the risk of injury. Both as an athlete or common gym-goer, it can help you achieve your goals, whether these are to perform better or such as achieving a weight loss goal.
Another advantage is the flexibility it offers you in your fitness plan. If the gym is closed, you can settle for a cross-training day and go for a run or a quick swim session. If it's raining out on the football field, you can stay indoors and do some burpees, squats, and stair climbing instead.
What is Aerobic cross-training?
Aerobic actually means "with oxygen," and hence the goal is to increase oxygen intake through cardio exercises. This will increase blood flow to the heart, eventually improving your heart and lung condition.
Aerobics is a high-powered form of exercise that includes jumping, skipping, stretching, and strength training elements. This makes it perfect for cross-training purposes. Its full-body engagement and focus on other skill sets like coordination, balance, and agility provide athletes with a much-needed boost.
You can do aerobic cross-training at home as well as in the gym or with your own equipment. The variety of exercises that count as aerobics makes it a good choice for beginners and pro athletes. Here we cover a range of aerobic exercises according to several criteria.
Aerobic exercises are off two types - high impact and low impact.
High-intensity aerobic cross-training
For a person weighing 125 lbs, 71 minutes of high-impact aerobics can burn 500 calories. High-intensity interval workouts (HIIT) are one example of such aerobic workouts.
These are short, high calorie burn exercises, where no equipment is needed. They focus on maximum muscle group activation in the upper body, lower body, and core. HIIT exercise combinations and workout routines are easily available online or in your local gym.
It's important to consider your fitness level before engaging in such a high-powered activity like this. A beginner cannot be expected to jump straight into HIIT workouts. This can result in injury, severe cramps, or even fainting spells.
However, by using the Nordic Trainer you are ensured that your high intensity training will have a low impact on your joints and muscles. Only three times per week for 12 minutes is enough to see and feel a difference in body's overall health and fitness. You will work the whole body on the Nordic Trainer and thereby cross-train effectively.
The best part is that you can adjust the intensity on the Nordic Trainer to fit your fitness level, cross-training goals, body type, and even mood.
Low-intensity aerobic cross-training
For a person weighing 125 lbs, a 91-minute session of low-impact aerobic exercise can result in 500 calories being burnt. Thus, even a less powered but well-rounded aerobic workout can work wonders for your weight loss goals.
The good news about low-intensity aerobics is that anyone can perform regardless of age, body type, body weight, or fitness level. These exercises can be performed at home in a pandemic, with little to no equipment and very little space.
A less intense aerobic workout can make for a great alternative during the recovery period for someone with an injury.
Here are some of the exercises that come under this category:
Especially useful for someone recovering from an injury or looking to start their fitness journey. Of course, it also helps in burning calories. Once you find yourself fit enough, you can switch to brisk walking.
Even thirty minutes of brisk walking in a day can help burn 150 calories.
Aqua Jogging / Swimming
This cross-training activity can be as low or high impact as you desire. Since water is 800 times denser than air, you're going to burn plenty of calories.
Aqua jogging is basically walking or running in water and is a fun way to work those lower body muscles.
Depending on your strokes and the duration of swimming, you can burn a lot of calories. But most importantly, getting in the water will boost your mood and break that week-long gym monotony.
When you don't have the time or motivation to go to the gym, this a great way to make up for it; you can perform these exercises anywhere and require little space or equipment. Just lay out a yoga mat and get going.
- Wall sit
- Push-ups, modified or original
- Jumping jacks
- Ampelmann jumping jacks
Easy aerobic cross-training at home
We understand that some activities can be difficult, especially if you don't have time to go to a gym. Here we provide a list of activities that you do with minimal equipment. You can modify the intensity at your own pace. It may not seem like much, but you can burn many calories with these different activities for a longer duration.
They are a great way to enhance your usual weight training as well.
Skipping rope can burn up 15-20 calories per minute. This means an average person can burn 200 to 300 calories per hour which are 25% more than the average runner burns at the same time.
When you have no equipment at your place and find yourself locked inside your home thanks to a pandemic, your trusty stairs will come as a respite.
Climbing up and down stairs can be combined with burpees, push-ups, and squats to make for a wholesome aerobic workout.
Climbing stairs for thirty minutes can burn as many as 235 calories for a person weighing 54 kgs.
The Nordic Trainer
You don't need to invest in several different types of equipment for cardio, weight training, and aerobics. With the Nordic Trainer, you can get the best of both worlds in one home trainer.
The Nordic Trainer engages 96% of your muscles and gives you a total full-body cross-training experience. It certainly adds to your strength and endurance to enhance your strength training performance and increases balance and flexibility.
Moreover, it even mimics the movements of Nordic skiing, a wholesome fitness sport.
It is designed most safely to prevent any risk of injury and focus on training properly. It can replace many cross-training activities, and that's why it proves to be a great investment for your body and home.
There's not much you have to do for aerobics cross-training when you have the Nordic Trainer at home.
Unique Aerobic cross-training
There are other productive activities that you perform routinely but probably didn't know even counted as Aerobics. Here are some of them:
Ever thought you could strike off working out and cleaning from your to-do list together?
It's completely possible if you're going for a heavy cleaning session. Mopping or sweeping alone can burn 240 calories in an hour. Not to forget that it engages your upper and lower body together, activating many muscle groups. There is no risk of injury, and it makes for a great cross-training session. What more can one ask for?
If you're thinking chores and hobbies like gardening may be cutting into your workout time, there's good news for you.
Weeding, trimming, and raking are low-impact gardening tasks but can still burn off about 300 calories in an hour. Spading and tilling can help improve your muscle tone with time.
The key is to be regular with your gardening and hence with your aerobic workout too.
It can be a strenuous task to think of aerobics cross-training workouts and create plans on your own. That's why we've provided the most simple activities you can perform once or twice per week to stay regular with your cross-training. Stair climbing, using the skipping rope, or going on a walk are convenient ways to work out.
But if you want to the hassle of going to the gym or the local pool, it's best to invest in a home trainer. The Nordic Trainer makes for a well-rounded trainer that accommodates your cardio, weight training, stretching, aerobics cross-training, and even Nordic Skiing, all in one. You can see results from only training three times per week for 12 min at a time.
If you've got no time at all, unique aerobics options like gardening and cleaning will help you stay fit. The upside is that your workout leaves your home spotless and beautiful in the process.