The secret to the performance of the world’s elite skiers and snowboarders starts in the snow. Athletes must first build a solid foundation of strength, power, agility, endurance and balance.
That’s the guiding philosophy of Tschana Schiller, Sports Science Director of Action and Endurance Sports for US Ski & Snowboard. And that’s what the elite mountain her athletes under her watch consider before fine-tuning their skills on the slopes.
To build that foundation, US Ski & Snowboard developed SkillsQuest Fitness, a series of eight tests that assess an athlete’s general fitness level.
“Proficiency in these exercises establishes basic movement patterns that help athletes avoid injury,” says Schiller, who is based in Park City, Utah.
From club development program athletes and 92-year-old masters, Mikaela Shiffrinis required to take the test with US Ski & Snowboard. The results of each test are converted into points. (Some are more weighted because they are more relevant to skiing or snowboarding, such as the one-leg squat.) Schiller provides average scores for his five of the eight tests, so readers can You can see how they stack up. Drill.
You don’t have to ski or snowboard to try these exercises, she says. dynamic warm up before starting the test. She suggests writing down your score and retesting in about a month to see if you’ve improved.
standing long jump
why: Also known as the long jump, this exercise measures an athlete’s lower body strength, power, and coordination. “It’s a highly coordinated movement,” Schiller says. “When I release my legs to jump, I am working my quads, hamstrings and calves.
How: Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees slightly and return your hips to the squat. Let your arms hang by your sides and move them slightly back. Push your feet down to jump forward and swing your arms forward to gain momentum. Keep your chest high. Land softly in a semi-squat position.
US ski and snowboard average scores: 9.5 feet for men, 7.3 feet for women
Exercises to improve: squat, Rush When Step up
strict tempo pullups
why: Measures of upper body strength and coordination, endurance and relative power Intensity – total weight you can lift relative to your body weight – This exercise is performed at a metronome tempo. “This exercise requires a lot of core engagement, not just grip strength,” says Schiller.
How: If you don’t have a metronome, you can set a timer or ask a buddy to call you every 1.5 seconds. Hang from the pull-up bar with an overhand grip just outside shoulder width.You should hang with your arms fully extended. At the first beep, engage your core and pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar. At the second beep, slowly lower yourself until your arms are fully extended. Tempo requires him to perform one pull-up every three seconds. That is, 1.5 seconds up, 1.5 seconds down. Don’t swing your body with momentum on the way.
option: If you can’t do pull-ups, you can do bar hangs. Using a box or bench, lift your chin over the bar using the same overhand his grip. Keep your lower body still while keeping your chin above the bar as long as possible without your neck or chin touching the bar. Stop timing when your chin drops below the bar.
US ski and snowboard average scores: 14 men, 6 women
Exercises to help improve: bar hang, crooked row When plank pose
one leg squat
why: The single leg squat measures full body coordination, single leg balance, endurance, mobility and lower body strength. It requires strong legs, glutes, and core muscles, as well as ankle and hip mobility. “Alpine skiers need more range of motion, so they almost always achieve their maximum scores here,” says Schiller.
How: Stand on a box, bench, or chair that is about 2.5 feet tall. Place your standing leg on the edge of the box and let your opposite leg hang to the side so you can squat deeper. Squats are performed at a tempo while standing on a box. That is one full his squat every three seconds. Set a timer or have your friend call out to her every 1.5 seconds. I’m trying to achieve a total of 15 iterations on each leg. The goal here is depth. At the bottom of the squat, hip creases should be parallel or just below the knees. You can stretch your arms out in front of you for balance. At the 1.5 second mark, slowly stand up and start.
option: If you can’t balance off the box, or if you’re having trouble deepening your squats on one leg, use TRX straps to help you descend and ascend, or stand in front of the squat rack and hold the rack with both hands. hold , pulling backwards as you squat to help take some of the load out of the exercise.
US ski and snowboard average scores: The test stops after 15 repetitions on each leg. This is the average score for men and women.
Exercises to help improve: effective drill ankle dorsiflexion (the ability to raise the leg toward the shin) and hip joint mobility
Repeat horizontal box jumps for 60 seconds
why: This test measures anaerobic endurance, or the body’s ability to perform high-intensity exertion in a short period of time, speed, power, and coordination specific to snow sports. It works the same muscles as the standing long jump drill.
How: You will need a box that is approximately 1 foot high, 1.3 to 1.6 feet long, and 1.3 feet wide. Start by standing on the box. Start the timer, then jump left while facing forward, bend your knees and land softly, quickly jump back onto the box and jump right. Keep jumping from right to left quickly and dynamically. Count how many times your foot touches the top of the box. Line up your feet for the entire test. Stop after 60 seconds.
option: If this is difficult, start with something lower, such as cardio.
US ski and snowboard average scores: Men’s 76 times, Women’s 62 times
Exercises to help improve: squat jump, tuck jump and jump rope
20m shuttle run
why: This test measures your aerobic capacity and tests your agility.
How: using this audio file Measure your run cadence as you progress through the levels. With a tape or cone he draws two lines 20 meters apart on a flat surface. Run through the 20 meter space and arrive at the opposite row according to the beep sound. (You may have to get there earlier and wait for the next beep.) Turn around, run back, and move to the next line in time for the beep. The beeps should start slow and get closer as the test progresses through the 20 levels of different stages, running faster with each interval. Run for about 20 minutes. If that seems like too much, don’t worry. End the test when you do not hear two consecutive beeps. The last stage and level to reach the line before the beep sounds counts as your final score.
US ski and snowboard average scores: Men level 13, stage 5, women level 10, stage 10
Exercises to help improve: Suggested by Shira far trek drill Or equipment cardio intervals.
Which of the following drills would you consider including in your exercise routine? Join the conversation below.
Please contact Jen Murphy ([email protected]).
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