Cross-Training: The Cure for Workout Boredom

Doing the same workout all the time can be tough on your body, not to mention your motivation level. Cross-training can prevent burnout and injury, and it can ensure a well-balanced exercise program that includes endurance (three to five times a week), strength, and flexibility training (both two to three times a week).

Finding moves that complement what you do is key, since the idea is to give overworked muscles a breather while you work on neglected ones. We turned to Carol Torgan, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist and a spokeswoman for the American College of Sports Medicine, for suggestions on which exercises to pair with seven popular activities.

If you…TryWhyAlso try

Walk or run

Weight lifting, yoga, or Pilates

To prevent imbalances among the muscles in the fronts and backs of the thighs, as well as to stretch hamstrings and hips

Lower-impact cardio alternatives like biking and swimming to reduce the load on the legs

Take kickboxing or step classes

Weight lifting

To prevent muscle imbalances

Lower-impact options like water aerobics or cycling, plus yoga or Pilates for flexibility, balance, and core strength

Play tennis

Hiking, walking, jogging, or inline skating

To balance tennis’ stop-and-start action with sustained moderate-intensity cardio

Yoga or Pilates for shoulder, arm, back, and hip flexibility, and for core strength

Bike or Spin

Weight lifting, walking, or jogging

To build upper-body muscle and maintain and build bone with weight-bearing cardio

Yoga or Pilates for flexible hip, thigh, and back muscles (which can improve bike position) and for core strength


Swimming and yoga or Pilates

To burn calories and strengthen your heart with cardio, to build core strength, and to keep muscles flexible

Walking or jogging for weight-bearing cardio

Do Pilates or yoga

Swimming, biking, or jogging

To burn calories and strengthen your heart; also to maintain bone density (jogging in particular helps here)

Weight lifting once or twice a week (some Pilates and yoga classes focus more on flexibility and balance than strength)


Walking, jogging, or strength training

To build and maintain bone with weight-bearing cardio

Yoga or Pilates for shoulder, back, and hip flexibility, and for core strength


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