Cross-Training Exercises: Benefits For Weight Loss, Endurance, Joints And More

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Published on: 28-Nov-2023

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Amrita Sandhu

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Cross-Training Exercises: Benefits For Weight Loss, Endurance, Joints And More

Cross-Training Exercises: Benefits For Weight Loss, Endurance, Joints And More

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Welcome, trained fitness enthusiasts and beginners alike! Embarking on a new fitness can be challenging, especially when there’s a vast sea of exercise options out there. This is where cross-training swoops in as your perfect health companion! 


Cross-training is an exercise protocol that can provide the body with many amazing benefits with regular use and is an excellent routine to include in your fitness plan. Furthermore, among the many machines you would find in the gym, there is also the cross-trainer, which is effective and easy to use and can enhance your overall fitness. Some of the most known examples of cross-training exercises are: 

  • Pilates 

  • Deadlifts 

  • Elliptical Workouts 

  • Swimming 

  • Biking and Cycling 

  • Yoga 


In this blog, let's unpack the 5 benefits of cross-training exercises specially designed for all you beginners out there. We will also understand what a cross-trainer is and how to do it effectively at the gym. So lace up those sneakers and dive in! 

Table Of Contents

  1. What Is Cross-Training?

  2. 4 Best Cross-Training Exercises For Beginners

  3. Top 5 Benefits Of Cross-Training

  4. What Is A Cross Trainer?

  5. How To Exercise On Cross-Trainer?

  6. Things To Remember While Performing Cross-Training Exercises

  7. The Final Say

  8. FAQs

  9. References

What Is Cross-Training?

Cross-training involves engaging in a variety of different exercises or activities to prevent specific muscle groups from being overused or susceptible to injury. This approach helps improve overall performance, agility, and endurance by incorporating diverse workouts into a training regimen.


An ideal cross-training program includes cardiovascular exercise, strength training and flexibility exercises such as yoga or pilates. The benefits of cross-training exercises also include warming up your entire body through cardio before you work. 


Some major benefits cross-training workouts bring to the table are improved agility, dexterity and balance, flexibility in training plans and the ability to continue training during injury. Another important advantage of cross-training is that it can prevent injuries during workouts by working certain muscle groups and resting others.

4 Best Cross-Training Exercises For Beginners


If you are a beginner and want to improve your fitness, these easy-to-do cross-training exercises are best for you. Some exercises are:

1. Planks

It is the best cross-training exercise you can perform at home. It works on the core muscles, including your rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and obliques, thus helping prevent spine and lower back pain. It also improves the body's posture and stability.

2. Air Squats

It fully works on the lower body part and thus strengthens the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. It also improves the balance and coordination of the body and prevents falls and injuries.

3. Sit Ups

Sit-ups are the best exercise to improve your abdominal muscles. Along with strengthening the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and obliques, sit-ups also tone the stomach muscles. It also helps to maintain body balance and posture.

4. Lunges 

The best part about lunges is it can be done anywhere. It not only helps in improving the lower body strength but also helps in burning calories. It also increases the flexibility of hips, hamstrings, and quad muscles.

Top 5 Benefits Of Cross Training Exercises


Cross-training exercises are effective exercises that are very beneficial if practised regularly. You can try different exercise variations on a cross trainer for an excellent full-body workout. The benefits of cross-training are many, and now we are going to discuss the top 5: 

1. Weigh-Loss Benefits

Obesity is very prevalent in the 21st century due to unbalanced eating and lifestyle habits. Cross-training workouts, if practised regularly, are very beneficial for people who want to lose weight quickly by helping them burn more calories. However, this exercise has many variations, so you should practise it after getting information from a trainer. 


Also Read: Protein And Fibre-Rich Foods For Weight Loss

2. Helps With Endurance, Cardio And Blood Pressure 

Cross-training daily will improve your endurance. Being a cardio exercise, it increases heart rate. Practising it daily will improve your breathing and oxygen supply to your lungs and heart. Practising cross-training exercises can also help balance and lower your blood pressure. 


It is also beneficial in reducing stress on the body and is hence also called a “feel-good” exercise. However, because the intensity varies, people with high blood pressure should only practise it following what their health care professional recommends.


Also Read: Finding The Best Time To Workout: Morning Vs. Evening

3. Beneficial For Joints

Practising exercises on a cross-trainer is very beneficial to the joints. A consistent routine can become a boon for your knees, elbows and hips. It promotes joint flexibility, minimises repetitive stress, and ensures a balanced load distribution, safeguarding your joints from overuse injuries and enhancing overall joint health

4. Ideal For Beginners 

Cross-training allows you to vary the intensity of your exercise, which is ideal for beginners. Doing a variety of exercises every day will improve your body's strength and stamina. You should practice cross-training exercises at a low intensity at first and then gradually increase the intensity. 

5. Great For Targetting Your Lower Body 

Doing elliptical training or cross-training exercises is considered very beneficial for the lower body. The pedals on an exercise machine are very beneficial for your leg muscles. Additionally, doing different exercise variations can be very beneficial for your glutes, hip flexors, hamstrings and quadriceps. Cross-training exercises are considered beneficial for working your abs, legs, thighs, etc. 


Also read: HIIT For Weight Loss

What Is A Cross Trainer? 

The cross-trainer, or elliptical trainer, is a stationary exercise machine designed to replicate walking, running, and stair-climbing motions while minimising impact on the joints. Its unique elliptical path ensures a smooth and fluid movement, making it an excellent choice for individuals seeking a low-impact cardiovascular workout. With foot pedals and handlebars, this machine engages both the upper and lower body, providing a comprehensive, joint-friendly exercise experience.


The key appeal of doing cross training workouts on a cross-trainer lies in its versatility and efficiency. By combining various elements of popular cardio machines, it offers users a full-body workout that not only burns calories but also targets a range of muscle groups. This makes it an accessible option for individuals at different fitness levels and those specifically looking for low-impact alternatives. Whether you're a seasoned fitness enthusiast or someone starting their wellness journey, the cross-trainer stands out as a reliable tool for achieving cardiovascular fitness without compromising joint health.

How To Exercise On Cross-Trainer?

There are many variations of cross-trainer exercises. You can use this machine for training however you like. You can also set the workout intensity to your liking. To practise cross-training exercises as a beginner, follow these steps: 


1. First, start practising in short intervals. You can start by pedalling. Then, try variations to speed things up. 

2. Use core handles to strengthen your abdominals, lower back, chest and spine. 

3. Push and pull the handlebars to tone your upper body. 

4. Adjust the machine according to your requirements before using it. 

5. Keep your back completely straight during this time. 

6. Do not lean your back forward. Lean on the handlebars to keep your heels steady, and do not pedal and lift.

Things To Remember While Performing Cross-Training Exercises

Here are some tips to keep in mind when working out on a cross-trainer: 


1. When using a cross trainer, ensure your body is neither too loose nor too tight. 

2. Initially, practise the exercises only under the guidance of a trainer or professional. 

3. Hold the machine handle properly. 

4. Do not wear tight clothing while using the machine. 

5. Wear shoes meant explicitly for cross-training, like women’s cross trainers, men’s cross-trainers, high top cross trainers and so on, should be used.


So, with this in mind, you can easily practise cross-training exercises. Doing these exercises correctly will help you lose weight easily and keep your body healthy and toned.

The Final Say

Cross-training is a common strength and conditioning strategy in which athletes improve specific components of their fitness by using a variety of exercise regimens outside of their primary sport. 


Some of the key potential benefits of cross-training include improving cardio endurance, training unused muscle groups, allowing recovery from your primary sport, maintaining mental alertness, and reducing the risk of injury. Be mindful to ask a trainer prior to engaging in cross-training exercises or working out on a cross-trainer machine to ensure tailored training as per your fitness levels. 

FAQs

1. What are the benefits of cross training for runners? 

Cross-training offers a fantastic range of benefits, regardless of your training goals. It helps with endurance and cardio while also reducing your risk for injuries.


2. What is the best cross training for runners?

Apart from cross-trainers in the gym, as a runner, you can perform cross country skiing exercises, hiking and snowshoeing. You can also opt for circuit training or boot camp.


3. Is it possible to cross-train every day? 

Yes, if you plan on using the elliptical machine every day, you should do short or low-intensity workouts two to three days a week to give your body plenty of rest time. 


4. Are cross trainers good for your belly? 

Elliptical trainers help you burn calories, lose belly fat, and tone your body. When used correctly, elliptical trainers exercise your entire body.


References:

https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/staying-healthy/cross-training/

https://www.runnersworld.com/training/a20813186/eight-benefits-of-cross-training/ 

https://therunexperience.com/cross-training-for-runners-6-dos-and-donts/#:~:text=Cross%2DTraining%20Definition%3A,as%20forms%20of%20cross%2Dtraining.

https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/5-best-cross-training-workouts-amplify-your-athletic-training

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