Cross training isn’t one type of exercise; it is many types all crammed into one routine. Your particular cross fit regimen will probably look a little different from your friend’s unless the two of you are taking an identical class at the same gym.
Crossfit or cross training literally combines elements from various workouts to provide a fast-moving series of repetitions so you don’t get bored, accomplish lots of work in a short period of time, and blast calories. Participants satisfy the three major elements of all-round fitness: strength, flexibility, and endurance.
Cross Training Moves
Moves in a person’s routine might involve basics like sit-ups, push-ups, and burpees; squats, dead-lifts, and lateral raises; jumping-rope, sprinting, and jumping jacks. You could be using weights or your own body weight to accomplish the strength component.
Endurance could involve machines, a gymnasium, a step, or a field. Some gyms are set up on the basis that all members achieve a full body workout by rotating through a series of moves on a set of machines every time they come in, week after week.
Often, yoga or another stretching series takes place after a cross training workout as part of the cool down but sometimes cardio yoga is integrated into a series. A number of innovators have developed routines which combine Pilates and/or yoga with aerobic movements, and perhaps weights, in order to blend those three workout components mentioned above.
The fact is, most people don’t want to exercise for an hour every day or they don’t have the time. A cross training system enables the average person with a busy life to get fit in a short period of time; to sweat more efficiently instead of doing hours of work weekly to burn the same number of calories as cross training but in half the time or less.
What This Means for Foot Wear
Runners wear running shoes. Walkers don’t need quite as much support because their joints do not experience the same level of impact. Sports played on a court require something different again; a shoe that helps give them lift to score baskets or jump to slam a volleyball. Aerobics shoes are different from all of these.
What if your exercise program blends jumping with running plus stationary routines like overhead presses combined with squats? Are you supposed to change your shoes several times in a 20-minute routine? No, you buy cross training shoes that support your feet for many types of movements in one session.
Is This a gimmick?
In a way, yes, this is a gimmick. A really good pair of running shoes will suffice for most types of workouts because they support your arches, fit snugly, but also breathe. Then again, running shoes don’t have to be super flexible, something that helps when you are bending your toes to do down dog or burpees.
No single shoe is going to do the trick completely, but you can satisfy most of your needs in a well chosen pair made specifically for men or women; something that will reduce the threat of injury, be comfortable, but not cost as much as a six-month gym membership.
Best Brands of Cross Training Shoes
Nike, Reebok, and Asics feature multiple times in reviews for women’s cross fit shoes. You will also come across names like New Balance, RYKA, and Salomon. Many of the same brands are popular with male athletes. You could also trust Puma, Adidas, and Vibram.
When rating these types of shoes, reporters are looking for a number of features. One is a number of color options. Customers like to coordinate their workout clothing, especially women, but even men want a choice of styles, not just black and brown.
Customers want a shoe that will breathe; something well made but with a mesh top to let the air out and cool feet before a person starts sweating. That way they can avoid foot-related problems like fungus plus the discomfort of sliding around inside a wet shoe.
Well-chosen footwear doesn’t leave room to slide, though; the fit should be comfortable. Availability of half-sizes is a plus. Most cross training shoes for running and jumping are secured using laces. Some made for stationary moves or machines are fastened using Velcro, but laces are more reliable and easier to adjust. Just don’t over-tighten them as this will cause circulation problems and pain.
Shoppers are searching for the best price, not something that’s going to cost $200. A regular athlete can get through one pair of shoes in 3 to 6 months so multiply that expense by 2 to 4 times and you can see why the average individual is looking for a cost of between $70 and $120 for a single pair.
Another factor that some people have mentioned is support for lateral movements; a shoe that holds your foot in at the edges when you run back and forth quickly, braking by putting out a foot to one side. Comfort and support, however, are the most important features of a cross fit shoe.