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How necessary is strength training for skiing?

Strength training is essential for skiing, both to prevent injuries and to generate power. I do a full-body lift twice a week with dynamic warm-ups and plyos, as well as circuits with med ball slams, quarter squats, and jumps. This helps build the core, legs, and upper body.
 
Transcript: "So strength training is super necessary for skiing. And I actually love getting the gym because I think it's super fun to train a different way. We actually spend a lot of time doing different cardio work and I think having the opportunity to get in the gym and make sure our muscles are really strong that really, really helps because not only is it great for injury prevention and also for our postures, you know, we spend a lot of time kind of in this hunched over position double pulling and, you know, leaning into the hill and You sure that we strengthen, the opposing muscles so we can stand and sit with good posture and not end up with that curved spine all the time. I think that's really important. So twice a week, we go into the gym and we have an hour-long. Lift it focuses on a lot of dynamic warm-up. So we make sure that we're ready for what we're going to put our bodies through. And then we do a lot of plyos I end up doing pretty full body lifting so the phase I'm in right now we end up doing Doing these circuits where it's a lot of, like Med ball. Slams that are really activating the full body going right in, you know, from that into quarter squats with quite a bit of weight back into jumps. You know, you kind of going through different systems and it's working the core of the legs and the upper body. And I think it's really necessary, not just for injury prevention, but power. So if you have a mass start race and it's 10 kilometers and it all comes down to the final. Final Sprint and in the last little bit you know you have 10 people spending for the line, you need to have the strength to generate the power to get to that line first. So I do think strength training is necessary for a number of reasons."
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Jessie Diggins

US Olympic XC Skier🥇🥈🥉
So strength training is super necessary for skiing. And I actually love getting the gym because I think it's super fun to train a different way. We actually spend a lot of time doing different cardio work and I think having the opportunity to get in the gym and make sure our muscles are really strong that really, really helps because not only is it great for injury prevention and also for our postures, you know, we spend a lot of time kind of in this hunched over position double pulling and, you know, leaning into the hill and You sure that we strengthen, the opposing muscles so we can stand and sit with good posture and not end up with that curved spine all the time. I think that's really important. So twice a week, we go into the gym and we have an hour-long. Lift it focuses on a lot of dynamic warm-up. So we make sure that we're ready for what we're going to put our bodies through. And then we do a lot of plyos I end up doing pretty full body lifting so the phase I'm in right now we end up doing Doing these circuits where it's a lot of, like Med ball. Slams that are really activating the full body going right in, you know, from that into quarter squats with quite a bit of weight back into jumps. You know, you kind of going through different systems and it's working the core of the legs and the upper body. And I think it's really necessary, not just for injury prevention, but power. So if you have a mass start race and it's 10 kilometers and it all comes down to the final. Final Sprint and in the last little bit you know you have 10 people spending for the line, you need to have the strength to generate the power to get to that line first. So I do think strength training is necessary for a number of reasons.
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Matt Whitcomb

🇺🇸 Head Coach - XC Ski Team
Hey Brett, great question. How necessary is strength training for cross-country skiers? It's huge, we do it. Probably two two and a half times a week which is to say to two big sessions of strength. And then one maybe that's just core Plyometrics based, but strength is kind of the thing that helps. You maintain your Technique long into a race when you might otherwise start breaking down, particularly your core. We spent a ton of time with core. Of course, as Americans we do a lot of strength training that's a, that's a huge piece for us a little bit more olympic-style lifting than say, some of the Scandinavian Nations but equal emphasis on core, we use a lot of bands that are like hanging from a pull-up bar to do sort of elastic resistance. A lot of jumps, a lot of Plyometrics, things like that for older skiers. Yeah. Men, my age and older. Women as well but men in particular were testosterone. Levels are not what they once were strength. Training becomes even more important. I think the older we get so have fun with it.
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Jim Galanes

🇺🇸 Olympic XC Skier - '76, '80, '84
Strength training in Endurance, Sports is always a debated topic, but the research is pretty clear, strength training, particularly for cross country skiing, but all Endurance Sports is very important and there's a couple of really important reasons for that one. Is it increases the ability of the muscles to produce power, it improves our economy or the efficiency of movement and it improves, a sustainable velocity of our race Pace, whether Racing, you know 5 km races or 50 km race has the how string training is really really important. We need to progress of Lee build towards being able to do maximum lifts of 8 to 12 reps or less. So that's very heavy. Loads focused on primary movers or Big. Big muscle groups. We like a lot of workouts like deadlifts squats. I would call them half squats, not going to full full depth overhead presses variations of rowing exercises are really effective for building strength recently in. Probably the last four or five years, we've done a lot of testing and development for a BFF. Be strong, bfr training, it's called Blood Flow Restriction. We're really liking that for endurance athletes because we can strength train, more often, three or four times a week with very low loads and get the same training effect as if we'd done heavy lifting. But without the obvious stress and muscle damage that a heavy lifting session would would would cause so, take a look at those things. It's it's really we important.
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Julia Kern

🇺🇸 Olympic XC Skier
So question is, how necessary is strength training for skiing? I would say pretty important but every person is a little bit different. So for me, strength training is important in terms of injury, prevention and stability, and core and power type perspective, just because I put on muscle mass pretty easily and strength comes more easily to me. But I've found that I stay more injury-free and feel stronger skiing when I do strength. So I try to do strength twice a week. Sometimes I do a third core session, but Almost the whole year around I'm doing strength twice a week so I think it's I think it's really important and just really good to be over all strong stable and healthy.
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Gus Schumacher

🇺🇸 Olympic XC Skier
How necessary is strength training for skiing? I would say especially as a junior it's very necessary because you start out with not as much muscle and then as you get older maybe your strength is good but you need to use it as maintenance to not get injured. So I would say to be a really good skier, I think you need to do strength training to some extent but you know that's different for everyone.