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Fitness Cross-Training During the Off-Season

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Cross training can be beneficial for fitness maintenance and active recovery during off-season.  Off-season doesn’t mean your fitness routine comes to halt.  You worked hard all year to achieve great accomplishments and persevered when life got tough.  Cross training can help you maintain a solid base level of fitness in addition to strengthening and improving functional fitness for lowered risk of sports injury. Many athletes will choose to take the winter season off to allow better balance with life and family during the holiday season. It also allows them to not be as strict with their diet during family gatherings and have greater flexibility in dietary choices.  It is also helpful and convenient to not have to battle mother nature during the coldest months if your sport is an outdoor sport. Here are some tips to maintain fitness with cross training during off-season:

  1. Use indoor cardio equipment. An exercise row machine is an excellent choice for a full body workout that may target different muscle groups than you would normally use during regular fitness training sessions. Rower exercise programs can be found online as well as custom rower exercise programs through a personal trainer or fitness coach. Holiday time also provides a great opportunity if you’re looking for a rowing machine for sale to use at home. Other cardio equipment such as elliptical trainers, stair steppers, and treadmills make excellent alternatives for endurance athletes, cyclists, runners, and triathletes.
  2. Cardio Training with Family. Family time can be combined with cross training while you strengthen your body and family bonds.  Jumps ropes are easy and can used with all ages and fitness levels.  Weighted jump ropes add additional challenge.  There are also weighted hula hoops that make fitness fun with family. Outdoor hiking on uneven surfaces can help strengthen the ankles, knees, and joints while enjoying the seasonal changes outdoors with your family.
  3. Yoga and exercise balls helps to improve flexibility and stability and can lower your risk of sports injury. Exercise balls core training improves functional fitness and can make you more powerful at your original sport of choice. Exercise ball tips can be found in a variety of resources including fitness trainers, fitness blogs, fitness magazines, and online workouts. Exercise ball programs continue to remain popular due to their low impact to the joints and use for both cross training and rehabilitation training.
  4. Group fitness classes. Group fitness classes, such as aerobic kickboxing classes, are a fun way to maintain fitness during off season. Group fitness classes can help with accountability and make fitness fun when your normal fitness routines are on hold.  Group fitness classes also provide the opportunity to try something new.  There are many different styles of group fitness classes to choose from and a style for every type of fitness.  Aerobic kickboxing is high-impact and high energy as well as step aerobics, dance fitness, and cardio dance. Water aerobics in a heated pool could be beneficial for those who are recovering from injury and need very low impact options for cross training. Pilates, yoga, indoor cycling, and bootcamp styled group fitness classes also add a lot of variety for training during off season.

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