If you’ve learned about the many benefits of cross-training, you’ve surely planned to introduce the practice to your exercise regime. When finding out about the sports that you can practice as part of cross-training, you may be wondering: is weightlifting considered cross-training? The answer is YES. Weightlifting is not only considered cross-training, but it is also one of the best types of cross-trainings that you can perform.
In this article, we’ll go in-depth on the topic of cross-training with weights: why you should do it and how. We’ll also have a closer look at some questions you might have one weight lifting, like how to create an exercise plan, and how to prevent injuries. Read on to find out everything there is to know on cross-training with weights!
Is Weightlifting Considered Cross-Training?
If you’re wondering whether weightlifting is considered cross-training, it’s probably because it’s not often advertised as such. We often see cross-training as a form of lighter exercise compared to your regular practice. For example, a swimmer might cross-train by rollerblading, a runner might cross-train by doing yoga. But the truth is, any exercise that you choose to perform outside of your main sport can be considered a form of cross-training.
Cross-training with weights is a great way to squeeze more fitness practice into your day. Weightlifting doesn’t take long but is a very intense exercise that will work all of your muscles. In terms of cross-training, this is exactly what you’re looking for – a way to exercise outside of your main sport that is sustainable. And doesn’t take up too much of your time.
Although training with weights is not the first thing that comes to mind when people think of cross-training, it is becoming increasingly popular. More and more runners are starting to see the benefits of lifting weights to improve their running performance, for example.
And with so many benefits on athletes practicing all types of sports, we can expect cross-training with weights to keep on gaining in popularity in the coming years.
What is Cross-Training?
This guide will go into more detail on how to cross-train with weights and everything you need to know about introducing weight training to your regular exercise schedule. But first, let’s have a look at cross-training: what it is, what it does, and why people recommend it.
Cross-training is essentially just a form of fitness training that involves different types of exercise. With a cross-training program, you may be running on some days, swimming on others, doing pilates, lifting weights, and skateboarding. Cross-training refers to the practice of mixing several sports as part of your exercise regime; it isn’t a term that describes a specific form of exercise.
Cross-training has a lot of benefits for your body because it makes you a well-rounded athlete. Think about it: some sports are more complete than others, but you can probably agree that most sports leave a few areas of your body unworked. For example, runners may have a less developed upper body than bodybuilders, but they may have more balance.
If you want to really take your fitness to the next level, it can be useful to incorporate different types of exercise; the exercise that will work different muscle groups, different forms of strength, flexibility, and balance.
Cross-training also lowers your risk of injury, because it prevents you from overtraining certain muscle groups. If you stick to practicing just one sport, say, rowing, then you may begin to notice tightness in certain areas of your body.
Over time, a rower might find that their shins are getting tighter and that their backs are developing knots. Cross-training with a flexibility-focused exercise like yoga can help prevent injuries and keep them training for longer.
How to Use Weightlifting to Cross-Train?
To cross-train with weights, you’re going to have to learn the weightlifting technique first. Your very first step should be to find someone who can train you with weights. Although there is a lot that you can learn on the internet, weightlifting is best taught in person. That’s because you’ll need to learn the proper form.
The form which requires having someone who can show you moves, observe your posture and correct it, and point to the muscle groups that you should be engaging. Without proper technique, weightlifting can actually do more harm than good, so make sure that finding a trainer becomes your priority.
Next, you’ll want to determine what your goals are. This will vary greatly depending on what type of exercise you practice. A runner will likely have different goals from a yogi. Although it can be great to use a mix of regular weightlifting moves simply to improve your overall fitness. This will target your exercise to work the underdeveloped muscles, and this will be probably the best use of your time.
If you exercise with a coach or with a personal trainer, ask them for their feedback on cross-training with weights. They will likely be able to recommend you specific exercises you should be doing. If you’re training by yourself, then try to find an exercise plan that is the most appropriate for you. This could be a weight training for runners guide or weight training for tennis players’ training plan.
Why Weightlifting is a Great Cross-Training Exercise?
Weightlifting has a wealth of benefits on all aspects of fitness, but can be especially beneficial when used in a cross-training setting. One of the things that it does best is preventing injury. Weightlifting is a lower impact sport, meaning that it doesn’t put significant pressure on your joints and ligaments like dancing or running might.
So by switching up your regular, high impact exercise with weightlifting, you’ll be preventing yourself from possible injury.
As well as being low-impact, weightlifting reinforces the connective tissues in your muscles, which can make you more resistant to injury in the long-run, even as you keep practicing high impact exercises. Weight lifting even makes your bones stronger, which is also very useful in preventing injuries.
Another great benefit of including weightlifting as part of a cross-training plan is that it improves your overall health and well being. Weightlifting has been shown to lift your mood effectively, which can make you all the more motivated to work out.
It can also give you a deeper sleep, which is crucial to faster muscle recovery and having enough energy. Overall, weightlifting is a feel-good sport. And for most athletes, the mental aspect is so important that those well-being benefits translate into your performance!
Why you Need a Cross-Training Plan
To cross-train by lifting weights, you could head to the nearest gym, lift a few weights, and focus on the exercises that you know and like. This would, of course, provide some benefits, but not as much as you would hope. To get the most out of your weight lifting sessions, you’re going to have to create a cross-training plan that fits your own needs.
The main reason for creating a plan is to see better results. If you’re hoping to start lifting weights as an additional way to improve your athletic performance, you’ll want a training schedule that starts slow and gets progressively harder.
This will ensure that you get the most out of every session and focus on progress. Another reason to start a personalized plan is that your needs will be different depending on the sport that you practice. For example, a runner might want to exercise the upper body muscles more, because they’re not as targeted during running practice.
Whatever your needs are, it is well worth stopping and asking yourself how you can make your cross-training plan serve you as well as possible.
What Kind of People is Weight Lifting Cross-Training Good For?
The short answer to this question is that weight lifting cross-training is good for almost everyone. When practiced correctly, weightlifting is a sport that can benefit people of all ages, of all genders, of all athletic abilities. Cross-training with weights will give different benefits to different types of athletes.
For example, a yogi might find that weight training is the only way that they can improve their strength enough to be able to perform difficult postures like headstands. Runners might find that weight training makes them better-rounded athletes and helps them prevent injuries. Tennis players may find lifting weights helps them increase their power to give a stronger serve. In short, weight lifting as part of cross-training is useful for most athletes.
Can Cross-Training with Weight Lifting Reduce Your Risk of Injury?
Yes, cross-training with weights can make the body stronger and better able to resist injuries. Weight lifting is great for making your bones stronger, as well as your joints or ligaments. Recent research conducted on football players found that those who trained with weights were less likely to suffer an injury during a given season than those who were sticking to a football-only training schedule.
So the best way to protect your body from extreme stress and accidents may be to visit the weights room in the gym—and learn a little weightlifting technique!
Can Anyone Start Cross-Training by Lifting Weights?
Anyone can start cross-training by lifting weights…but not everyone should lift the same weights! What weights you can lift will vary greatly depending on your age, your gender, and your overall athletic performance. Also, bear in mind that just because you are very advanced at a given sport doesn’t mean you’ll perform great with weightlifting straight away.
The best advice I can give to anyone starting to lift weights is to start slow: lift the bar without weights at first, then add very manageable amounts until you get the technique right. If you manage your expectations and follow a training schedule that is appropriate to your physical shape, you’ll greatly reduce the risk of overtraining or injury and reap the rewards of weightlifting training.
Is Weightlifting Considered as Cardio Training?
If your regular exercise regime already involves a lot of strength, for example, if you practice calisthenics or wrestling, then you may be advised to include some cross-training in your exercise regime to get some cardio in as well. But can you do weight training as a form of cross-training and use it as cardio?
Well, surprisingly, yes, you can. By itself, weightlifting doesn’t necessarily constitute a cardio workout, but you can change up your circuits to be more cardio-intensive. For example, doing more reps of lower weight will work your cardio more than fewer reps of a higher load.
If you want to lift weights to improve your cardio, it can be a good idea to consult a personal trainer who will be able to create a personalized exercise plan for you. It’s also worth noting that for weight training to give you a serious cardio workout, you’ll need some solid weightlifting bases first.
That means being able to lift heavy weights with proper forms, preferably with at least a few months of experience under your belt. So while weightlifting can definitely give you the cardio that you need in your fitness regime, you won’t be able to access the full benefits of it until after you’ve gained some experience with it.
Should all Athletes Lift Weights?
All athletes can lift weights, but should they? Well, it really depends on what you are hoping to get out of your weight lifting sessions. If you are looking to improve strength and endurance, weightlifting will work great for that. If what you need to work on as an athlete, his flexibility and balance, then cross-training with another sport like pilates may be better suited.
Another concern that some people have is that weight lifting will make them bulk up. For sports that require athletes to be thin and light, like dancing, gymnastics, or horse riding, weightlifting should be considered carefully. On the one hand, it will still bring a wealth of health benefits.
On the other hand, overtraining could result in unwanted muscle gain. The key in that situation is to create a special training schedule that aims to work strength without adding bulk. These will generally include a lot of isometrics exercises, and some lower resistance weight training.
Aside from these considerations, weight training will be beneficial, no matter what other sport you practice. So don’t hesitate to ask your coach, trainer, or teammates for advice, and start lifting those weights!
Are There any Dangers in Lifting Weights?
Weightlifting is generally speaking, not a dangerous sport…but it can be if you’re not careful. One of the biggest risks associated with weightlifting is muscle overtraining. It’s easy to start lifting weights, get excited about your rapid progress, and move on to lifting weights you shouldn’t be lifting.
Weightlifting can sometimes encourage a spirit of competition that will make you want to prove yourself by lifting heavier and heavier weights. While this is generally positive, some people get carried away, and this is when injuries happen.
By lifting too heavy, expect permanently sore muscles, joint problems, and even accidents or death linked with dropping weights on yourself. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: start slow. This is the best and only way to practice weightlifting safely and get the full range of benefits you can expect from the practice.
As an additional precaution, make sure to place some serious emphasis on your warm-ups and cool-downs, making sure to prepare your body adequately for the stress that you are putting it through with weight training.
Although weightlifting may not be what you think of first when you hear the word “cross-training”, it can definitely be used as a useful cross-training exercise. No matter what other sport you practice, weightlifting can actually help you improve your performance, give you more strength, and even prevent injuries.
The great thing about weight lifting is that it can make you better at whatever you’re already doing, be it run, box, or play badminton. This is also why athletes from all different sports are starting to use weight lifting as a key part of their training program and why more and more coaches require their players to lift weights on the side.
So if you think this could work for you too, don’t hesitate to give it a try! Don’t expect to become a weightlifting expert straight away though. Learning proper technique takes time, and you won’t be able to lift really heavyweights from the get-go. But if you’re patient and dedicated, and create a cross-training weightlifting program that works just for you, you should see results in your overall fitness very soon.
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