TSCwod – Supple Cheetahs

TSCwod – Supple Cheetahs

October 26th, 2014

Warm Up

Focus: fundamental movement skills, central nervous system activation

Heart Rate Activation

  1. Running check (Proper technique: no forward shoulder, midfoot strike, pull with hamstrings, feet landing below the body and not in front)
  2. Light run around the TSC and Blue Mountain Parking Lot

Dynamic stretch

  1. A-skips 50 m
  2. Butt kickers 50m
  3. Side Shuffle 25 m Left leg leads, 25 m right leg leads
  4. Karaoke 25 m Left leg leads, 25 right leg leads
  5. High knees 25 m
  6. Squat check (knees in line with toes or slightly out, feet shoulder width apart, hips below parallel or resting on calves, chest up)
  7. Air squats, front lunges, side lunges, drop squats 10x both legs
  8. Leg swings forward/backward, left to right, donkey kicks 10x each leg (40 total)
  9. Arm circles (10 forward/10 Backward) Large and Small (40 total)
  10. Ankle pops both feet, one leg, alternating legs each 10x

Stair Workout

Focus: hip extension (Power), knee stability, cardiovascular stamina

*CAUTION – emphasize form over speed as slips and trips can occur. Workout may need to be modified for weak/small athletes

  1. Run up each stair as quick as possible, with focus on proper running form. 5x
  2. Skip a stair if possible 5x
  3. Stair jumps test: can they hop onto a stair safely with both feet (if not, they can perform 10 forward hops on flat ground)
  4. Stair jumps each stair 5x
  5. Stair jumps skip a stair 5x
  6. Challenge: one footed stair jumps (if athletes cannot perform safely, they can remain in one spot)

 

Agility Ladder

Focus: lateral foot speed, neuromuscular coordination

  1. Lateral Run 10x
  2. Lateral high knees 10x
  3. Lateral cross overs 10x
  4. Lateral hops both feet 10x
  5. One footed lateral hops alternate legs each time 10x

Cool Down

Focus: muscle lengthening, myofascial release

Static Stretch (30 second holds)

  1. Hamstrings – seated, both feet forward
  2. Hamstrings – seated, one foot forward (both legs)
  3. Glutes – ankle over knee (both legs)
  4. Groin/Hamstrings – legs spread apart
  5. Groin – butterfly
  6. Hip flexors – hip dip
  7. Hips – yoga squat

Tennis Ball Mash (30 second holds)

tennis mash




The Secret to Big Angles in Ski Racing? Unilateral Balance

Ski racing requires not only endurance, but also strength, stability, mobility and the often discussed aspect of balance. One great way to determine if you will be able to lay it over like Ligety will depend on your ability to balance on one leg in a variety of positions. This is called unilateral balance, and it can make or break your skiing. 

 

The first position is a simple test: can you stand on one leg without holding on to anything? This may be difficult for kids who are growing quickly or people who haven’t tried it in a while, but it is still important to practice in order to ski well. If you can do this on both legs without wobbling too much, then great! Yogis who can do the dancer’s pose, congrats—you probably have the requisite balance to dig a bit deeper because there there is always room for improvement.




While this is an achievement in balance, stability and flexibility on its own, there is more work to be done.

 

If standing on one leg is easy, then exercises can be introduced to concurrently build strength while developing stabilizers in the body that aid in balance. The first thing to try is stationary lunges. Instead of having both feet under you like a regular squat, split your feet (one in front, one behind) and lower your hips slowly, keeping your knee over your ankle. Here is a video that demonstrates the movement:

 

 

The best way to know if you are doing it right is to have a partner (or better yet, a qualified personal trainer) to see if your upper body stays straight up while you lower yourself. Being able to put your legs in this position uses a similar muscle group that you will be using through a turn (where some points can have all of the weight on one leg). If this is easy, then elevating the back foot on a bench can intensify the movement.

 

Once this skill is mastered, the single leg squat AKA pistol progression should be attempted. This action requires balance and strength that you may have never used, so be careful of your surroundings. Check out a detailed explanation of the progression here, or just watch the video:

 

Being able to do multiple, unassisted, full range pistols will work wonders for your strength and balance. I use this as a test on most athletes I encounter, and can almost picture their ski style based on their pistol. The ones that work on this can almost always get their hip closer to the snow at the apex of the turn and ultimately push out of that position. This ability allows them to create greater edge angle at the gate, intensifying the bend of the ski (making the turn easier to accomplish) and thus assisting in the optimum reaction of the ski. 

Notice the separation between the upper and lower body.

Athletes who struggle with their balance often are afraid (due to lack of experience) or are simply unable to get into these positions, and tend to ski upright with little separation between the upper and lower body.

Notice the racer is very upright and is compensating for this lack of balance and strength by tipping in at the shoulders in an attempt to get the skis on edge.

 

If this is something you struggle with, then let the off season be the time to improve your balance without the distraction of speed and gates. Until then, happy single squatting everyone! Tune in next week for more fitness tips from TSC!

Ski Racers Need to Squat—Deep

Ski racing can put your knees in precarious positions, so having strong glutes and hamstrings will help protect the knee.
You may not always ski like this, but you had best be prepared for it.
To get started early on your squats, go deep or go home! Half squats (thigh parallel to floor) work out the quads, but full squats (all the way down) work the posterior chain (back) as well as the anterior (front) of your legs.
An example of excellent squat form.
For a detailed analysis on why the deep squat is desirable, check out this article:
If you can’t get into a deep squat (below parallel) without lifting your heels, this article will tell you why. For the how, consult a certified personal trainer.
Mastering squat technique is essential for the competitive athlete. Even for the weekend warrior, a good squat will help you get stronger, more mobile and prevent injury.