Plyometric Training for Speed Skaters

Plyometrics to improve skating techniques, strength, stamina and endurance.

Speed skatingSpeed skaters spend most of their training time on the ice, skating around a 400-meter ice track for about two hours at a time.

Sprint skaters concentrate on building speed through short-burst training sessions, while distance skaters focus on balance, cornering and positioning, practicing in teams and skating close to each other to develop agility and drafting techniques.

As we all know, no training program is complete without strength training and logging some hours in the gym. Short track speed skaters spend about one day a week in the gym and focus on building lower body strength, paying particular attention to their “other leg” to avoid injury and overtraining their lead leg. Strong arms, core and back strength are also crucial in relay races and that critical time when they push the next skater on the team.

Here are some killer leg exercises that skaters can do off-ice to improve strength, stamina and endurance:

Tuck Jumps

Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, jump up, bringing your knees to your chest. As soon as your feet touch the ground, jump up again. Repeat for 3 sets of 10 reps.

Lunge Jumps

Starting in a lunge position with your front leg at a 90° angle, push yourself off the back leg and jump up as high as you can, landing on the opposite leg (your back leg). Balance on the landing leg for a couple of seconds, then switch legs with a little jump to bring you back to your starting position. You’ll need some finesse for this one, so that you’re not landing too hard on that one leg. Repeat for 3 sets of 16 reps (8 times per leg).

Johnny Jump-ups!

Not for people who have knee, back or ankle problems. Stand on a box, bench or step and make sure it is on a solid, non-slippery surface. Standing shoulder-width apart, hands at your side, step off the box and as soon as you hit the ground, spring up into a tuck jump. Make sure you’re springing straight up and not lurching forward. Rest for a few seconds, then repeat for 3 sets of 10 reps.

Scissor Jumps

Bending the right knee at a 90° angle, rest the left knee lightly on the ground behind you and lean forward in the skating position. Jump up and switch legs mid-air in a scissor-like fashion, landing with your left knee forward and your right knee on the ground. As soon as your knee touches the ground, spring up again and repeat without stopping until you complete the set. Start with 20 reps per leg and work your way up to 50 per leg. Repeat for 3 sets.


Keeping your head up and hips level, look straight ahead not at the ground and assume the skating position. Maintaining correct posture and without twisting your torso, place the left leg behind the right leg, as if you were about to do a crossover. Then jump from the right leg to the left leg, landing in a reverse crossover. Try practicing in front of the mirror to help with correct posture. At the beginning of the season, practice this maneuver for 2 minutes and rest for 2 minutes. Repeat for 4 – 5 sets.

This kind of intense training is meant for people who have been training for at least two years. Make sure you don’t do this workout every day and remember to warm up for 5 – 10 minutes before and stretch for 5 – 10 minutes after training to avoid injury.

Originally published @ FITLODE.COM

4 thoughts on “Plyometric Training for Speed Skaters

  1. Jarod says:

    Not bad,
    I’m a little confused on how exactly the crossover jumps work. Do you just jump once and then rest, or do you switch legs when you land and jump back to the position you started?

    • Hey Jarod ~ that’s a good question. As soon as you land, you’ll drop down into the starting position again to really work those quads, then jump and switch to the other leg, in one fluid motion. It’s important to get the jerkiness out of these moves, so you’re not cranking on your joints. Keep it moving and fluid and smooth. Hope that helps ~ Natalie

  2. excellent publish, very informative. I wonder why the opposite experts
    of this sector do not understand this. You must proceed your writing.
    I am sure, you have a huge readers’ base already!

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