Workout of the Week: Core strength with a friendBy: Brian Suke (2006/09/28)
FlatsSuggested Trails: Equipment:
Stability ball and medicine ball (or something heavy)Description:
This workout is designed to maintain some of the key muscles used in skiing and to develop a strong core. The dynamic movements and balance inherent to cross country skiing requires not only strong muscles to execute the movements effectively but also good core strength to maintain balance and efficiency among the various techniques.
Several of these exercises involve a partner so be sure to encourage each other as you sweat through the repetitions. The exercises can be combined in any order, but it is best to try and alternate muscle groups. I often pair exercises, for example an abdominal and arm exercise, then alternate between them three times before moving to the next pair of exercises. When choosing the number of repetitions of each exercise ensure that you can do a minimum of 8 reps and then continue with the exercise for a set number of reps, a set time period or until failure of form. It is very important that you stop when form deteriorates to avoid injury. If you do five or six pairs of exercises (10-12 total) you should find the workout takes at least 40 minutes.
For the warm up a light 20min jog is fine but I’ve found that if you have access to a gym the rowing machines are the most effective warm up tool.
– partners set up at right angles to each other and with one placing their feet on the others upper back. Proceed to do simultaneous push ups then switch feet position.
– lie with upper back on a medicine ball, bench or have your partner hold your feet as you raise your back slightly off the ground. Hold a medicine ball straight out from your chest and rotate slowly from side to side.
– while lying on your back have your partner kneel at right angles to your legs and place your calves on their back. As you do crunches they will do fire-hydrant leg raises
– partner A assumes a squat position with eyes looking straight ahead and back vertical. Partner B places their hands on A’s quads just above the knee and does dips.
– partner A stands with legs shoulder width apart while partner B lays on their back, head between A’s legs and hands firmly gripping A’s ankles. B raises their legs, knees unflexed towards A’s chest with force. A pushes B’s legs back towards the ground either to the right, left or straight ahead. B should attempt to not allow their feet to touch the ground before raising them back to A’s chest.
Medicine ball superman passes
- both partners lay face down on the floor facing each other with their hands out in front of them and their lower legs raised in the air (i.e. in the “superman” position), they pass the medicine ball back and forth, not letting the ball touch the ground.
Medicine ball sit-up
– partners lie in crunch position facing each other and do simultaneous sit-ups, passing the ball back and forth with each sit-up
– with your face towards the ground place the stability ball under the thighs and pelvic region so that the chest is unsupported, have a partner secure your ankles or place the soles of your feet against a wall for stability. Lower your chest towards the floor then rise up to a horizontal position. Do not hyperextend the lower back at the end of the up phase.
Leg raises in various directions, plank sets and push-ups are also easily incorporated into this workout.
If there are certain exercises you enjoy more than others feel free to do them more often in your circuits to keep the enjoyment level high, but be sure to try and insert some variety among sessions