As the dark, cold days of winter set in, maintaining your workout routine can be a challenge.
Break out of your routine with some cross-training—a practice that is valuable year-round, but especially beneficial during the monotony of a long season. You’ll find that doing something different can be good for both body and soul.
What is cross-training?
A good cross-training regimen includes a mix of aerobics, strength training, and flexibility exercises with the goal of whole-body fitness.
Lancaster General Health Exercise Physiologist George Cattell suggests 6 easy exercises that can form the basis of the strength training aspect of your cross-training. You can do this workout at home without any special equipment. Remember: You should never feel pain during exercise. If you do—stop!
Lateral Raise: Stand up tall, keeping your stomach tight. Lift your arms out to the side, not higher than shoulder height. Hold for a second; then lower them back down slowly. Repeat 15 times. Perform 2 sets.
Crunches on the Floor: Lie on the ground with your back flat and stomach as tight as possible. Slowly roll your shoulder blades off the ground without using your arms to pull yourself up. Try not to crank on your head. Your hands are there to support your head to avoid neck injury. Repeat 12 times.
Standing Abduction: Stand up tall in front of a solid object that won’t move if you lean on it. Keeping both feet pointed straight in front of you, and your stomach tight, kick one leg out to the side about 1 foot. Hold for 2-3 seconds without leaning to the opposite side. Slowly return to the start position. Repeat 10-15 times. Perform 1-3 sets on each side.
Triceps Kickback: Find a sturdy bench or low table. Bend over at the waist, keeping your stomach tight. Keeping your elbow high and upper arm still, swing your hand like a pendulum. Holding a weighted item (large soup can, bottle of water), swing your hand up, pausing at the top and slowly returning to the start position. Repeat 15 times. Perform 1-3 sets on each side.
Sit to Stand: Find a chair or bench without wheels. Place against the wall and sit. Keeping your stomach tight and your knees square, drive through your heel and stand up. Slowly sit back down into your starting position. Repeat 10-15 times. Perform 1-3 sets.
Mini squats: Standing behind a solid object, stand tall, keeping your stomach tight. Squat, sticking your gluts backward a bit to counterbalance yourself. Bend your knees as far as possible without experiencing pain, but no less than 90 degrees. Return to a standing position. Repeat 20 times.
Click here for more exercise tips from George.