Strength Training for Cross Country Skiing

It’s nearly summer.  Whether you’re running, riding, or getting ready for next winter, you’re hitting the gym, right?  If your strength training routine is getting stale, check out some of the moves in these videos.  Some of them are familiar; some of them are new to me.

Balanced strength is still key, so don’t just focus on ski-specific moves.  Rather than make my gym workout 100% sport specific, I prefer to mix in general strength drills.  For instance, I’ll do a couple sets of front squats as well as single-legged squats, and a traditional bench press as well as that prone bench press.

From ‘Murrica’s own Methow Olympic Development Project is the vid below.  There are some good moves in here.  I never woulda thought of a lateral squat with a bar (at circa 1:06).  If you try this one, be conservative with the weight when starting out.  Also intriguing are the quotes from Finn Heikki Rusko sprinkled throughout, including “Most skiers have enough maximal strength, but do not have the ability for fast force production.”  My Internet search for additional info on Rusko yielded little more than his method of determining whether an athlete is overtrained.

From the Swedish Winter Sports Research Center.  Jesper Sjökvist presents rationale for each exercise as well as technique cues (in English).  This is the first I’ve heard of frequency-based strength training; i.e., doing reps to a metronome.

From Japan comes this cryptic number, without voiceover.  Word to the wise: take the time to put the safety clips on the bar.