Any time you watch the Winter Olympics, it’s hard not to be amazed at the mindset of the competitors. Whether they’re hurtling down a mountain at over 100 kilometres per hour, jumping the height of a building while doing multiple backflips, or digging deeper than most people can imagine to overtake a competitor in a cross-country ski race, these athletes are amazing competitors.
Because of these amazing feats of psychology, however, it’s easy to downplay the physical levels required to compete in such sports. Here is an example of the incredible physicality that these athletes possess and how some of these qualities might transfer into your sport.
Most of the ski and snowboard events involve lots of turning and landing (often from a great height). The bodies of competitors in these events, therefore, have a huge capacity to absorb force. This ability makes them able to repeatedly manage this extreme high-intensity force without injury. Eccentric (lengthening) strength is the primary force characteristic at play here. Eccentric training can be done in the gym with high force and/or speed, depending on the experience of the athlete and the desired training adaptation.
Team sport players may find this type of training effective to add to their program, particularly those involved in collision-based sports such as rugby or AFL. Every high-intensity effort in a game of rugby involves some degree of collision, which in itself requires a degree of eccentric strength. Even sprinting involves collisions with the ground, which over time can lead to injury through wear and tear.
Adding some specific and appropriate eccentric overload training into the program of athletes in these sports, could therefore, optimise performance in the sporting tasks and also help to reduce injury. It’s important to note that this training in itself is very stressful on the body, so make sure you get some professional advice and don’t just add it to your current workout.
This is only one example, but training methods are often transferrable across sports. The main difficulty is to decide what you need as an individual, relative to your sport. To take advantage of the services Fowkes Fitness & Performance can offer you and your club, get in Contact now.
Posted By: Rob Fowkes
Posted: 19 Feb 2018