Cross-training is an aspect of any sport that can help your strength and success, from the pool to the bike and everything in between. This guide will help explain certain benefits of five pieces of dryland equipment. Taking your routine to dry land allows an athlete to work certain areas of their body that may go unnoticed while training in the same environment day after day.
Feeling a little sore after a hard workout? The foam roller might just become your best friend. Some benefits of using a foam roller include: reducing soreness, increasing blood flow and greater flexibility. A foam roller massages the muscles, often giving you the same intense massage you would receive from a masseuse without the high cost. Athletes often use these rollers on tender spots or trigger points. There is no set amount of time or rolling intensity and often depends on the comfort and fitness level of the person. Using a foam roller before or after a workout can help tremendously with soreness and pain.
Don't resist the resistance bands. Alongside being cheap and portable, the resistance band targets coordination, balance and various muscle groups. Bands come in a variety of different sizes, ranging from easy to hard, giving you the power to customize your own workout. A beginner may want to start with an easy resistance band, switching to medium or heavy over time as the desired muscles get stronger. Changing the direction or pull of the band emphasizes or targets specific muscles during exercise. From biceps curls to preventing injuries, the resistance band can be used to strengthen just about any muscle.
A soft, supportive mat comes in handy when you're exercising just about anywhere. It creates a comfortable barrier between you and the ground. Used for yoga, pilates and abdominal work, the workout mat protects sensitive areas of the body like your knees, elbows and tailbone. Mats are also available in different thickness levels. If you're engaging in more physical, rigorous exercises, a mat with substantial grip is recommended for a non-slip experience. Keeping your mat clean is simple and sanitary. After your workout, easily wipe down your mat with anti-bacterial wipes or soap and water and it's always ready for use!
Listening to your favorite song or station can help your pace, race or attitude on land. There are many MP3 players to choose from depending on your music library or workout preference. You can customize your workout with your favorite playlist or simply set the PEAR Square One to shuffle for a random mix of musical genres anytime. While exercising, the PEAR Square One also captures your heart rate, letting you view your results and data easily after each workout or race. Whether you're training for a half marathon or cycling, an MP3 player lets you hear all of your best training tunes during every hike or run.
Tracking your progression and success can be an exciting time for any athlete. A lap watch, such as the Garmin Forerunner 910XT, is perfect for all sports, from swimming to hiking. Recording your time and distance, the watch is made easy to use and read to help better your time or pace for future workouts or races. Usually built with a GPS system, a lap watch has navigational features to let you mark and save locations virtually anywhere. Simply use it for your next hike or customize your bike workout to record your time, distance and speed.
These are just a few of the common pieces of dryland equipment you may already use or have thought about trying. Each has its own benefits that can help any athlete achieve their goals. Mixing up workouts or cross-training adds fun and exciting new challenges to any sport.