Speed Skating Plyometrics for Power and Speed

Speed skaters and inline skaters have more than one thing in common, but the most troubling is probably the weather.

Olympic speed skaterWhile speed skaters have the luxury of indoor ice rinks throughout the year on which to train, inline skaters have to adapt their training in the wintertime, unless they’re lucky enough to live in a sunny clime.

Despite these challenges, skaters in general need to spend at least one day a week working on building strength and muscle for speed and power. You will also want to focus on bringing your non-lead leg up to speed [no pun intended] to avoid overtraining and injury.

All you need for this set of killer plyometric exercises are steps and stairs.

Let’s get started:

Power Jumps

You will need a box or something you can jump over that stands anywhere from 8 to 32 inches, depending on your fitness level. Standing tall, with feet together on one side of the object, leap over the box and then back to the other side as soon as you land. Do not rest or bounce between jumps.

Repeat for 3 sets of 12 to 20 jumps.

The Groucho Marx Walk

Assuming the skating position, walk forward in a very low position, so that your back knee almost touches the ground – something like a walking lunge.

Repeat this exercise for 1 to 2 minutes.

Zig-Zags

With feet together, stand at the bottom of the stairs and assume the skating position. Jump up as many steps as you can, first to the right, then to the left, so you’re zig-zagging your way up. Do not rest in between landing and zig-zagging to the other side. The movement should be fluid and constant. You can just as easily perform this exercise outside at the bottom of a hill. With each set, challenge yourself to jump farther.

Repeat for 3 sets of 10 jumps.

Alternating Hops

Standing sideways to a step, place your left foot on the step and the right foot on the ground. You can also use a flight of stairs. Hop up, so all your weight is on your left foot, hop again and repeat for 40 reps. Turn around, so you’re facing in the opposite direction to work the other leg. Again, use a 2:1 ratio to do twice as many reps on your non-lead leg.

Repeat for 3 sets on each side for 40 to 100 reps.

Descente

Starting at the top of the stairs, stand sideways to the stairs, lower yourself down into the skating position and jump down to the next step, bounce, then jump down to the next step. Go back to the beginning and switch sides, so you’re facing in the opposite direction that you started in and you’re working the opposite leg. The trick here is to keep the movement tight – it’s more of a drop than it is a jump. Work with a 2:1 ratio, doing twice as many reps on your non-lead leg.

Repeat for 4 sets of 20-30 steps.

Make sure you stretch well before and after these exercises and take whatever precautions you need to protect your joints.

Originally published @ FITLODE.COM

Advertisements

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.

Crossovers

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