Unlike most major sports and training methods that uses concentric strength training, snow sports use eccentric strength. Eccentric strength is “negative strength”. Good examples of where we use eccentric strength in our daily lives are hiking downhill, lowering yourself into a squat or, landing a jump. Eccentric training causes more muscle damage than concentric. This is why most of us feel sore while hiking downhill.
So, how do we train eccentrically? One option is by doing “Leg Blasters”. What are leg blasters you ask? Leg Blasters require no equipment, can be done almost anywhere, and come in two versions Mini and Full. Listed below is a description of the exercises as well as a link to a training video that demonstrates these exercises.
Full Leg Blaster:
20x Air Squats
10x In-Place Lunges (10x each leg, 20x total)
10x Jumping Lunges (10x each leg, 20x total)
10x Jump Squats
Mini Leg Blaster:
10x Air Squats
5x In-Place Lunges (5x each leg, 10x total)
5x Jumping Lunges (5x each leg, 10x total)
5x Jump Squats
After each set give yourself 30 seconds rest and go at it again until exhaustion. Having done this workout a handful of times now, I would suggest starting with the Mini Leg Blaster list then moving on to the Full. The great thing about this workout is that it can be tailored specifically to you or your child’s fitness level. Simply do more cycles for a person in great physical condition or less for someone who is just starting to train.
Is structured athletic training not for you? Don’t worry we got you covered. There are a variety of other activities that can help mimic the goal of structured training. Below is a list of “everyday” activities that require eccentric strength. Alpine hiking is a great way to train eccentrically. Make sure the hikes you chose to do require a long descending portion.
Mountain biking, specifically downhill mountain and pump-track biking requires eccentric muscle strength to absorb shock and to gain speed through turns. Vert skateboarding very closely mimics the muscles used in snowboarding for pumping, turning and absorbing terrain changes.
As the season approaches it is important for you or your child to be ready to spend long days out on snow. Please help us as coaches by making sure your child is ready for the season by spending some time doing activities that will help them be ready. Excited to see you this season and are working hard to ensure that this is the best season of Meadows Freeride Team yet!