By Leandro Lutz
Being a Nordic skier is not only putting the skis on and skiing. We know that in addition to specific ski and roller ski training, we also need to work on strengthening our muscles. However, for many long-distance athletes, reconciling long ski training and proper muscle strengthening training is difficult and time consuming.
Strength training should take into account the muscular demands of Nordic skiing, as well as its cost-benefit, i.e. "cost" refers to the time required to perform the extra workouts and the physical stress generated (and consequently, the recovery time demanded) by them and "benefit" as the name says, is what the muscular strengthening training will provide you, to take the athlete to good results in an efficient way.
Strength work in Nordic skiing should prepare the muscles for the stress load of the long-distance races so that you must work with joints and large muscles to prevent injuries from repetitive and prolonged physical exertion. Therefore, it is important to choose the most appropriate and efficient exercises, so that the required time is the minimum necessary and that energy can be saved for the specific training.
In the Nordic skiing world much is said about strengthening the core and its importance, I have already written an article on the subject (click on the link and check out: https://vismaskiclassics.com/news/articles/the-power-of-the -core-learn-more-about-our-center-of-gravity /).
The core is nothing more than the set of muscles responsible for giving support and stability to the pelvic, lumbar and hip region, stabilizing the trunk. Nowadays, core muscle strengthening training is very common in the preparation of long-distance skiers, as everyone knows the importance of trunk stabilization to improve sports practice.
Long distance skiers train for several hours and repeat the same movements thousands of times. When the core is not strong enough, the body ends up compensating with other muscle groups, decreasing exercise efficiency, resulting in poor performance, increasing fatigue and causing pain and even injury.
It can still be noticed that during competitions, when fatigue arrives, athletes with better preparation of the stabilizing trunk muscles and pelvis can maintain the intensity of the exercise more easily, whereas those with inefficient core show signs of fatigue and loss of coordination which makes the athlete unable to keep up the pace and a good technique.
This demonstrates the importance of muscle strengthening exercises and the need to perform this training consistently and uninterrupted during all year long, so that the skier maintains a strong core, able to move more efficiently and spend less energy. Not to mention that with strong and efficient muscles, we will be more protected from the overload of exercises and inappropriate postures.
Therefore, muscle strengthening is imperative for long-distance athletes, as it promotes not only the increase in strength and power generated by the athlete, but also reduces the risk of injury by strengthening muscle groups and joints. In addition, performing exercises improves stability by improving the efficiency of movements and techniques, thereby minimizing energy consumption and increasing performance.