What is Cross-Education?

  2017-05-30 09:00AM
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At some point in your CrossFit career, no matter your level of ability, you will have a limb that needs to rest or mend.  That’s just life, and it happens to the best of us.  Just because you have a limb that needs rest or even complete immobilization, doesn’t mean the rest of your body needs to be neglected.  Actually, quite the opposite.   With a little bit of knowledge and a lot of support from your coach, you can do a WOD with the best of them without feeling like one limb is going to grow superhuman strength while the other fades away. Have you ever heard of Cross Education?  Cross Education is a real term that will encourage you to keep on keepin on with your workouts.  It is a phenomenon where a person working only one limb will notice a corresponding increase in strength and coordination in the other extremity. While the resting limb will not develop strength as quickly as the one the person is exercising, it will experience some improvement. A simple example of Cross Education would be if a person started to lift weights with the right arm only. That arm would bulk up while developing strength but so would the left, to a lesser degree.  The resting limb will not go into complete stasis or inactivity because it’s still receiving signals and staying warm while the other side of the body is being worked!  This happens because the body exhibits bilateral symmetry and the two halves have a variety of connections.  When one side of the body is being worked, the nerves on the other side are stimulated.  The neurological activity can create muscle strength as well as contribute to coordination.  On the spinal cord level, both sides of the nerve roots will be stimulated if working only one side of the body.  Cross Education is encouraging for people with injuries because it allows them to retain strength, coordination and skill without affecting the injured limb.   While Cross Education is still being studied, it’s known to be an existing mechanism and athletes all around have benefited.  Next time you have an injury, think twice about taking time off completely and more about how you can continue on your course while simply modifying your routine. Don’t be afraid of one limb being larger than the other, or  one being much weaker because you’ve neglected it all together.  Be sure to talk to your coach so the plan of action is effective in providing what's best for you.


AUTHOR

What does the name mean? It means perseverance. Molon Labe represents every man’s and every woman’s struggle and the power to rise above. Everyone faces battles in life. Molon Labe is where you will find your inner strength. You will succeed. You have the power within. We are here to guide you through your journey.



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