How to Cross Train Indoors

Destress Jun 14, 2020

By Jessica Varda

Depending on your local government’s orders and your own personal situation right now, you might find yourself in a situation where you are not able or it is not safe for you to go outside.

Below are some options for runners who find themselves restricted to indoor activities to consider.

While these options are especially good to consider in light of the current pandemic, you will likely find that continuing to incorporate some of them in the future will help improve your running while keeping you healthy. For example, some yoga and pilates can help stretch your muscles and alleviate tension. Yoga and pilates style workouts are also excellent in creating balance in the body, which can work wonders for your posture and help prevent injuries while running. Likewise incorporating boxing, rowing, or other activities can provide good balances to running as cross training cardio activities.

Yoga or Pilates

Yoga and pilates are separate disciplines, although pilates incorporates aspects of yoga and both disciplines are often combined in specific workouts. Yoga and pilates are both excellent for working on symmetry in the body. Most of us have imbalances in our bodies and our muscle tone resulting even from simple things like the fact that we, for example, continually use one specific hand for writing, opening doors, etc. Working each side of the body separately can help create some more balance in the body and correct posture. Improving posture and balance can improve physical fitness; there is a reason Tiger Woods and David Beckham are fans! It can also help prevent injury.

Yoga can be an especially useful exercise also for its meditative qualities. Studies show that breathwork can be incredibly healing. Making adjustments to the way we breathe is also a field of continued research for its effects on athletic performance.

Photo by Scott Broome/Unsplash


Boxing is an excellent cardio exercise. It also focuses heavily on the core and incorporates hip rotations, which can provide an excellent cross training opportunity for runners without putting additional strain on the knees. One other major benefit is that you can complete a shadow boxing workout in a small indoors space with no additional gear.

Strength Training

While we generally think of weights when discussing strength training, it can actually incorporate bands rather than weights or even just your own body weight. Gliding discs can also be a fun addition to body weight workouts. It is also possible to get creative by, for example, using filled bottles of water in place of dumbbells. Strength training is crucial to any physical fitness or weight loss program. However, the weight you use does not need to be heavy in order to reap the benefits. In fact if you are a beginner or are working out at home alone, it is best to use lower weights and ensure you are using proper form.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash


Assuming you are limited to indoor activities, you will need access to a rowing machine to practice rowing. However, it is worth including rowing on this list because it is an excellent low impact cardio workout and there are low-priced rowing machines with high ratings available for purchase online, which you can get delivered right to your door.


When you are stuck indoors is the perfect time to let loose and just dance! Yes, you can look up a cardio dance workout and follow along. However, sometimes it is just more fun to put on your favorite music and go crazy. It is great cardio and you may find yourself out of breath sooner than you expect. Best of all, it will probably make you smile and laugh, and that is something we can all use more of. You may even find it’s a great way to start the day.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, & StayRunning!

Photo by Bruce Mars/Unsplash

Jessica Varda

I like travel, adventure, and running... often at the same time.

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