The Benefits of Cross Training
by Brooke Smith, PT, DPT, FAAOMPT
AZOPT Goodyear Physical Therapist

Injuries happen in sports, but how can you help prevent them?  Today, I am going to be discussing the benefits of cross training to help prevent overuse injuries that can occur if you play only one sport.  Cross training is when an athlete trains in other sports other than their normal one.

Cross training reduces risk of injury.  When an athlete plays one sport, they train their muscles in specific patterns which could lead to excessive overloading of your joints and the musculoskeletal system.  By participating in cross training, it will help your body adapt to different stimuli increasing your strength, power, aerobic capacity, and dynamic flexibility.  All these will enable you to be more efficient in your dominant sport.

If you already had an existing injury, cross training can help return you to prior level of function faster.  It allows rest for muscles that have been overused while improving overall fitness.  Cross training can help correct the cause of the initial injury as well.  The number one cause for re-injury in a sport is having a previous injury.

Switching between different modes of training allows sore muscles to get rest while continuing to work other muscle groups.  This improves aerobic capacity and endurance.  Some examples of cross-training are swimming, lifting weights, performing resistance activities, yoga, running, etc.   You should change up your exercises each week so your body does not adapt and you can continue to make improvements.

If you have any other questions or would like to schedule a free injury screen, please contact AZOPT at 623-242-6908 to schedule.