Grass Skiing, Plyos and Strength @ CVU

WestonAugust 23, 2012

Yesterday was a perfect morning for training at CVU. Fall sports are going through tryouts, so there was a lot of activity beyond our training. After warmup, the crew did a circuit-style plyometric and strength routine. The athletes jogged between 5 stations that included plyos, abs, push ups, bench dips, narrow-pushups, and walking lunges. Coach Eli Enman and I supervised the plyos and helped with technique and timing.

After nearly 60 minutes of that, we put on our skis (thats right, snow skis!) and did some short relays. Grass skiing is extremely taxing on the body – it is like trying to ski uphill through about 10″ of heavy snow. There is almost zero glide, meaning you can never really relax your muscles and recover. The benefits of grass skiing are that striding uphill is nearly exactly the same as on the snow: the body position, the balance, the kick phase, and the resistance from the grass is like a steep climb on snow. Rollerskis are nice, but they give you 100% guaranteed kick every stride – no matter how steep the climb. And there is much less resistance (friction) on a rollerski than on snow. If you don’t believe me when I say it is like real skiing, look at the pictures (below) of the athletes on the ascent. Body position is dead-on.

I remember seeing Kris Freeman (US Ski Team) and Pat O’Brien (Craftsbury GRP) doing some short sprints on grass skis last summer with coach Zack Caldwell. Earlier this summer, there was video of the Craftsbury athletes practicing sprint starts. And just recently, the athletes at Rochester Nordic Racing (coached by Jason Hettenbaugh and my dad, Roger Weston) posted video of their own relays on grass!

CVU has such perfect grass and also many steep hills between the fields. The hills were actually steep enough to glide down! It wasn’t fast, but it was fun and good for balance.

Click the pictures to enlarge!

Part of the relay included doing some 360˚s. Will Solow on the right catches air.

The crew at the end of the workout.

Nigel, Ethan T and Jordan working on plyos

Emma Hamilton striding up the hill

First crash of the 2013 season!

Ethan T working on the lateral hops

Ethan John striding uphill

Sienna, Cally and Emma doing the 1-legged hops

See, it looks like skiing!! Cally and Molly

Getting the feel of having skis on.

Nigel, Sienna, Cally and Ethan T showing good form

Liam John – lateral skate hops

Liam John trying some tele turns

Liam and Will Solow striding uphill

Lucy Leith with a bunch of skiers and field-hockey players in the background

Lukas Adamowicz ascends the hill

Nigel and Jordan working on plyos and V2 timing

The start of the relay

…and they’re off

Sienna is getting ready for skiing at St Lawrence!

Will Solow finds some glide

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