The best thing you can do to improve your Freerunning is always to go out and do it, but for those trying to improve their skill level quickly or who have hit a plateau, cross training is not only useful but practically required to truly reach your full potential.
Why You Should Cross Train
Many Freerunners get stuck in the “freerun all day every day” mentality and lose sight of any thing else. There’s a lot of different things you can do to get better as a freerunner, without freerunning. Cross training can not only help beginners get started and stay healthy through their training but can be a vital part of stepping your game up as an experienced practitioner.
The number one reason why people need to cross train is to improve their overall strength or focus on a specific weakness. The idea isn’t to replace your training with something else, but compliment it with the right balance of exercise. This is one reason why Crossfit has been such a great addition to so many Freerunner’s training. For me, personally, while training for Ninja Warrior I recognized the weak link in my chain was my grip endurance, so I started rock climbing heavily to improve it.
Besides strength training, getting involved in other sports can open your eyes to new ways to use your body. Gymnastics is a commonly focused-on movement discipline, but things like breakdancing, diving, and capoeira are all ways to learn to use your body and to see more possibilities for ways to move.
Take it Easy
One common problem Freerunners have is over-training, especially when injuries are involved. Finding something to do that has less impact on your body, or that you can do to switch gears for a while, will always improve your recovery time and can take the itch of recovery time down a notch. Try out something like slackening or swimming, or take a page from Livewire‘s book and give handbalancing a try.