Cross Country Skiing Training Essay, Research Paper
Cross Country Skiing
Cross Country Skiing is a very physical demanding sport. It requires a great deal of training and dedication to become a racer. To enjoy the sport at its best, being physically fit is important. However, it is a wonderful sport to improve over- all fitness. To be a top notch cross country skiing racer, you must train hard. You have to dedicate yourself to it in the off season as well as in the winter. There are many different ways to train for the many different fitness components. Cross country skiing is an endurance activity, it’s a distance exercise, and it works many of the same muscle groups as running; that, without the pounding of the road, makes cross-country skiing an ideal cross-training option when the weather turns cold and conditions become dangerous to run. You only need two or three inches of snow, but if the ground is bare, indoor ski machines can provide a workout nearly identical to the real thing.
Skiing makes unusually heavy demands on the hip and knee joints. A good weight training program coupled with a strong running program to increase cardiorespiratory efficiency should be undertaken. The basic training exercises for cross country skiing are the military press, two-arm curl, half squat, supine bench press ,rowing exercises, side arm raises, heel raise, press bar leg thrust, press bar quad strength, abdominal curl, supination pronation, wrist roll, boot exercise,finger strengthening, stationary press bar leg trust, Stationary press bar leg tensor. These will help you with all the different fitness components of skiing and a routine of training using these will increase speed, endurance and overall fitness.
To be an excellent skier you must stay in shape even in the off- season months. Running or riding a bike. are two ways to do this. You could roller ski to even work on your stride and rhythm. You must train your lungs to take in more oxygen, if you do this you will increase your endurance for those long mountain skis enjoying a day in the back country.. Cross country skiing is an excellent aerobic exercise and can actually help you increase your oxygen intake beyond what your running does. In the development of strength and cardiovascular endurance, the intensity of the training stimulus depends upon the energy expended in a unit of time. A prime consideration in formulating training schedules for the development of cardiovascular endurance is to provide more work to be performed in a progressively shorter time duration, or both.
Your upper body and legs must be huge. Most skiers have tree trunks for legs. this helps them get a better push off, so their stride can last longer and they don t have to use as much energy. Your arms must be strong because you have to push the poles into the ground to get a better push so you can go farther. There are a number of exercises that increase strength in the upper and lower body. Working on these all year round, coupled with a healthy diet will help you see a vast improvement in strength.
This is so you don t tire out during a marathon 50 km race. Do this for 60 seconds and a 15 second break is allowed between exercises in order to record results and get into new body position for the next exercise. Push ups, sit ups,side leg raises, back leg raises, and sitting tucks.
Although cross country skiing is not usually associated with flexibility, it certainly helps your style and enjoyment of the sport.. Your upper body and legs must be very loose. the gliding action stretches your hamstrings, calves, and lower-back muscles. Warming up properly, hydrating before and after your ski will help you to remain loose.
To ski well and be balanced you must have a low body fat percentile. If you have a gut, then you will not be as aerodynamic as the next guy and that is a big part in skiing and shaving off those few seconds. It requires 3500 calories of energy to burn of just one pound of fat, so if weight reduction were a priority in your program, you could eat 500 less calories/ day than you use, and in one week you would loose one pound. If you are training and eating a carbohydrate rich diet, you will have the energy to burn in training without the accumulation of body fat. Low intensity long distance basis for reducing body fat to create better body composition for endurance activity.With long distance training you will lose inches, but not pounds, because when you train away fat it will be replaced with muscle which is heavier.
You must be very agile, your body must be moving at all times. This will give you confidence to make those sudden moves and be ready for the unexpected. Turns, speed, balancing on uneven terrain, all are enhanced with increased agility. You have to build up your muscle to be more agile.Once again, proper training, rest and diet will aide agility.
You have to be balanced, if not your face will be in the snow and your stride will not be as powerful as the next person. Your body must move with your stride. Practice on different terrains,different snow conditions and the changing wax conditions over long distance skiing will have an effect on balance. Your energy level, fitness level, amount of rest and preparation will affect balance. Balance will improve with practice and more practice.
You have to be coordinated but if you can walk, you can enjoy cross country skiing.. You have to move your legs and arms and head at the same time. While your leg is moving one way your head is straight and your arms are moving. You have to train for this one. Learn the right technique and practice it all year. Run with your poles in the summer to get your upper body in coordination. Roller blade or roller ski to get your lower body coordinated. Or combine the two for excellent coordination training. Without coordination then you with fall or be back of the pack because you will not be smooth.
The use of your upper and lower body have to be pretty powerful for skiing. To get up those big hills and to even pass a person on the straight always. To intensify your power in training, you must work out. Lifting weight at the gym or even at home will help you out considerably. Skiers legs are huge so you have to focus on your thigh muscle and your calfs, their pecs have to be good as well.
Reaction time is key in cross country skiing. If it is a mass start you have to bolt off the start line to get a great whole shot. This reaction time is improved with short sprint practices, increasing strength and muscle. Your muscles must be trained hard to become more quick or reactant.
Although speed is not an issue for someone just out to enjoy a pleasant afternoon outdoors cross country skiing it certainly is important for the serious racer..To work on this you must have a good technique., This is where practice makes perfect. Dry land training help you a lot. Speed training for cross country skiing can take two basic forms:20/40 s 20 seconds of work with 40 seconds rest done up to 30 times.-20 second sprints done during distance training early in the season. 5-10 times with 5 minutes rest between sprints. All technical aspects of skiing like, pacing, intensity, breathing control, arm action, posture, body positions, techniques used etc, contribute to the major improvements in performance that result from using strategies. As fatigue sets in, thoughts should turn to technique items to maintain efficiency. As one tires, the mind goes blank and performance drops. By predetermining a thought plan these dead spots can be avoided or if they occur, reentry routines can minimize the time spent not focusing on the race. Task relevant thoughts sustain form, block the recognition of fatigue, and retard the loss of efficiency for extended periods of time.
Dry Land Training
To get snow in the off season,can be costly and time consuming so you have to rely on technology. Dry land training is the use of various types of aerobic activity to develop the cardiorespiratory efficiency of an athlete in the off season months. Road biking, kayaking, motocross, swimming, dancing are all types of activities There are roller blades that are like mini skis. They help you to work on your technique and cardiovascular fitness in the summer and fall months. The off season months are really the only months skiers get their best work outs. They don t have to worry about very cold weather or no snow.
To become a great or even a recreational skier it may take some practice. To enjoy the sport at its best, being physically fit is important. However, it is a wonderful sport to improve over- all fitness. I like this sport and have become pretty good at it. Even without the training getting out and skiing is very good exercise and it is a whole lot of fun. for all ages.