Are you struggling with an injury? Finding it hard to train when you are unable to exercise on one side of your body? No matter whether it is a few weeks or several months, injury can be a major setback, and it is essential that you take care to avoid further damage. However, taking long breaks from training can cause significant loss in strength and muscle mass, so what can you do?
Even if one side of your body is injured, working out on the other side can be very beneficial and is referred to as the cross-training (also known as cross-education) effect. We thought we would take a closer look at what it is and how it can help you.
What is the cross-education effect?
Cross-education is a unique phenomenon that sees individuals gaining strength in opposite limbs and muscles from the ones they are training. For example, training and focusing on the right arm could see the left also gain strength.
However, while this is a well-documented process, the resistance training needs to be designed and structured carefully in order to achieve the results. Research has shown that performing high load and low repetitions when weight training. This high-intensity workout helps to maximize your workout and stimulate that corticomotor pathway, which in turn activates the resting limb.
What are the benefits of cross-training?
There are many benefits that can come from incorporating the cross-training approach into your workout when you are injured. Research from the Edith Cowan University found that individuals who focused on training their uninjured side were able to prevent major muscle and strength loss in the same limb on the other side.
This study examined thirty individuals and saw one of their arms immobilized for eight hours a day for one month. These participants were then split into three groups and tasked with following certain protocols using their good arms. These were either concentric and eccentric exercise, eccentric exercise only, and no exercise at all.
The results found that those participants who focused on eccentric exercise using heavy weights noticed that there was greater muscle strength in their immobilized arm, too. Alongside the higher power, researchers also found that there was far less muscle tissue loss.
That means that by focusing on training an uninjured muscle using eccentric exercises, you can enhance your injured limbs, too. That means you do not need to worry about taking long time off from your workout routine in the event of an injury.
Alongside helping you keep your fitness levels up and reduce the muscle mass in your injured limbs, the ability to continue your workout routine is also a great way to improve your mental wellbeing. Being injured can be a very tough time mentally, so being able to keep up your fitness levels and follow your usual routine can help to keep you focused.
Looking for help with your workout?
Are you looking for support with your workout while carrying an injury? Here at Fit 4 Blast, we are one of the most sought-after and highly experienced concierge fitness coaches in New Jersey, and for over ten years, we have been helping individuals to transform their fitness and achieve their goals.
Our holistic approach will see our team create a completely tailored system that is designed to not only target your physical wellbeing but your broader lifestyle behavior too. So if you are looking to transform your fitness but are not sure where to begin, get in touch with our friendly team today to find out more.