5 Cross-Training Ideas

Do you feel stuck in a rut? Do you want to take your fitness to the next level but don't know how? Your fitness routine should keep you on your toes and continually challenge you. Whether you want to cross-train, build endurance, work on core, focus on strength, or gain flexibility, the options are endless. Take a look at your current routine and set a new goal; what's going to challenge you next?

Here are some ideas that can help take you to the next level.

Obstacle Challenge

One of the best motivators is to sign up for a race you've never done before. The challenge is a new course, a time to beat and new training ideas. Instead of a traditional 5K, 10K or marathon, why not challenge yourself and sign up for an obstacle race? Obstacle courses are popping up in cities everywhere. You don't have to be an elite athlete to participate in one; all levels are encouraged to join.

Some races are more for fun, while others are more serious. If you're looking for something fun, yet challenging, sign up for a mud run. If you're looking for a women-only race, try the SHAPE Diva Dash. If you're willing to battle through fire and water, the Spartan race is for you. Test your physical and mental strength; sign up for an obstacle race near you.

If you need help training for an obstacle race, a boot camp will help you get to the start line and finish strong.

Kettlebell Training

Kettlebell training seems to be the latest fitness craze, but it's been around for a long time. People just never got into it until now. Why not? Because Kettlebell training is a killer workout. In one session you'll complete a core workout and strength train your whole body while building endurance power. It's exciting to watch your strength and stability grow as you continue to work with Kettlebells. Don't be afraid to try something new, sign up for a Kettlebell class.

Cycle Away

Cycling is one of the best ways to cross-train, lose weight, or build endurance. What's great about a cycling class is that there are other cyclists surrounding you to help push you. Plus, there is energetic music to keep you going. Challenge your legs, core and mind to get you through an hour of cycling. You'll climb hills, build speed, and maintain endurance. It's really a great way to take your fitness to the next level.

Trail Running

Challenge your legs and take your fitness to new terrain. Running or walking on trails will help strengthen your ankles, legs and core. Plus, it keeps your mind challenged as you never know what your next step will be. You might have to leap over a mud puddle, run on an uneven surface, bypass rocks, avoid snakes, or battle hills. Trail running or walking is a great way to test your cardiovascular strength and sculpt your body. Go ahead and step out of your comfort zone. Embrace the scenery and watch yourself build more strength.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Rowing is a great way to build upper-body and back strength while utilizing your core. Not only is it a great muscle builder but you can work on your rhythm and pace, which is perfect for any endurance athlete. This workout is not static; you can constantly change your speed and intensity by switching the way you pull with your arms and by rowing faster or slower. You can either incorporate rowing into your weight-lifting routine, or row as your cardio workout. Either way you're bound to burn calories, build strength, and improve power.

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About the Author

Fara Rosenzweig

Fara Rosenzweig is the Lifestyle Editor for Active.com. She is a fitness fanatic, yogi and runner who loves to try new activities. Follow Fara on Google+ or twitter @FJRose.
Fara Rosenzweig is the Lifestyle Editor for Active.com. She is a fitness fanatic, yogi and runner who loves to try new activities. Follow Fara on Google+ or twitter @FJRose.

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