In this week’s episode of the Sports Medicine Weekly podcast, Dr. Brian Cole, head team physician for the Chicago Bulls, and team physician for the Chicago White Sox shares the benefits of cross training.

As a sports medicine doctor and team physician for professional athletes, Dr. Cole is often asked about the benefits of cross training. Patients frequently ask if they can enhance their fitness and maximize performance through multiple activities, and his answer is always a resounding “yes”! Over the years, he has seen the benefits of cross training in terms of improving overall fitness, enhancing performance, and preventing injury. 

Cross training helps ensure you are strengthening parts of your body other than the muscles, joints and ligaments used in your primary athletic activity. And, typically, it will help improve your performance in your primary sport as well. For example, runners have strong legs and hips, but cross training can improve their speed by developing stronger muscles in their legs using resistance and weight training.

Research shows that athletes who cross train are more fit and less prone to injury. So even though you want to spend all your time on the golf course or basketball court, employing alternative exercises in your workout program can improve your performance overall and in your specific field of interest.

Be sure to tune into this week’s episode of the Sports Medicine Weekly podcast to hear about the research backed benefits of cross training.

Authored by Zach Meeker, Research Assistant at Midwest Orthopaedics, Rush University Medical Center.

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