Weightlifting is a popular type of fitness training that has many benefits. It strengthens all the muscles in your body, improves your physical appearance, lowers your injury risk and more. However, while weightlifting is great at improving these areas of your fitness, it’s not so good for boosting your balance, coordination, cardiovascular fitness or flexibility. This article will highlight 5 cross training exercises for weightlifters that you can use to target these areas of your fitness that weightlifting neglects.
1 – Football
Football is a fun sport and a top cross training option if you lift weights. It tests your balance, coordination and reflexes while also giving you a solid cardio workout. Additionally, it’s a great fat burning tool and blasts through an impressive 610 calories per hour. However, the best thing about football is that it allows you to work your muscles while also giving them a rest from weightlifting.
2 – Rock Climbing
Rock climbing is an active exercise that works all the muscles in your body and enhances your cardiovascular fitness. A 1 hour session burns off 545 calories per hour and helps you develop a more functional, practical style of strength that isn’t possible through lifting weights alone. Rock climbing also strengthens your grip significantly and this has a positive effect on your weightlifting performance as it ensures that your forearm muscles don’t give out before your other muscles.
3 – Running
As mentioned above, cardiovascular fitness is something that doesn’t improve when you lift weights. Running is one of the best cardio exercises out there and can work off up to 1,000 calories in an hour. By combining running with your existing weightlifting routine, you can ensure that your cardiovascular fitness doesn’t get neglected.
4 – Spinning
Spinning is another brilliant cardio exercise which also strengthens and tones your leg and butt muscles. Like running, it’s great for fat burning and can blast through up to 1,000 calories per hour. However, unlike running, spinning is a low impact exercise and so doesn’t place any pressure on your joints. This makes it a perfect cross training option if you suffer from arthritis or joint pain but still want to enhance your cardiovascular fitness. Since spinning is an exercise class, it’s also more social than running and a good choice if you prefer exercising with others.
5 – Yoga
Yoga isn’t something that you’d typically associate with weightlifting but it’s a great cross training option. This form of exercise builds up many areas of your fitness that weightlifting ignores including your balance, flexibility and mental fitness. Yoga also helps soothe any joint and muscle soreness that you may experience as a result of lifting weights. In addition to this, it promotes healthy blood flow within your body and this allows you to recover from weightlifting workouts more quickly.
If you’re currently focusing solely on weightlifting, you’re missing out on many health benefits. So start including these 5 cross training exercises in your weekly routine and maximize your overall health and fitness.
*Note: All calorie calculations are based on a 150lb person