By: Taylor Lucas- Dancer, Runner, and Student Physical Therapist at East Carolina University
Sports are fun! Whether its dance, running, pickleball, or golf, sometimes we just can’t get
enough play time. When we play one sport excessively, it can lead to overuse of a structures in
our bodies. These overuse issues can present as tendinopathies, muscle strains, stress
fractures, and in worse cases, muscle and ligament tears, and bone fractures.
How do we decrease the risk of these overuse injuries but still enjoy our sport? Cross training is
how that is done! Cross training is a way to add variety into your exercise activity to decrease
the overuse of the main muscles used when you are repetitively only playing one sport.
Cross training can look like implementing different aspects into your fitness program such as
aerobic training, flexibility and mobility training, and strength training. These different
programs can be done on days not participating in your main sport or added as a warm-up or
It is recommended that we get 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week. Try
incorporating a new program in on a day off your main activity. Try walking around the
neighborhood as your aerobic training, or yoga for flexibility and mobility, or a quick body
weight work out from YouTube for some strength training. That’s cross training!