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Outside magazine, June 1996


Cross-Pollinating Your Way To Fitness
By Lia Mehos

There’s actually more to cross-training than a cool pair of shoes. Most activities will help you stay in shape, but when it comes to honing your athletic ability in your primary pursuit, some sports are more equal than others. Here are some recommended training combinations that will improve your performance in five great sports of summer.

Cycling: On road or trail, constant pedaling mimics the continuous motion of running, which helps develop your cardiovascular system while giving you a break from running’s high impact on your joints.

Pool running (with an inflatable vest): You’re still running, but without the punishment of pavement. Great if you’re recovering from or trying to prevent injury.

Rowing/paddling: Works the shoulders, arms, and torso in a sustained motion that mimics swimming. Rowing has the added benefit of working the lower body.
Weight training: A balanced regimen focusing on both the chest and the upper back muscles can help reduce the risk of injuries.

Gymnastics: Reinforces key climbing traits of balance, strength, control, and flexibility; also a great way to strengthen the upper body and hands.

Calisthenics: Like climbing itself, these exercises use the resistance of your body weight. They build strength without adding bulk that you’ll just end up having to drag up the wall anyway.

Cycling: Good cardiovascular exercise that gives the upper body a rest. Works the legs–crucial to kayaking control–in a restricted pattern while arms pull and push on handlebars.

Swimming: Works the arms, shoulders, and torso in a sustained motion that will increase your paddling strength and endurance.

In-line skating: Increases aerobic capacity while specifically working the buttocks, quads, and back. Using poles extends the workout to your arms and shoulders.

Rowing: An intense workout that develops the cardiovascular system as well as muscles in the torso, quads, and glutes.

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