A solid fitness program should include elements of strength, power, speed, endurance, flexibility, balance, variety and fun. CrossBlading covers these bases as well as any sport. It engages arms, legs and core and burns calories at a higher rate than all but a few activities (such as cross country skiing and swimming). A smart athlete also knows that nutrition and rest are also important.
CrossBladers benefit from cross country and alpine ski training elements. Areas of special attention include quads, glutes, calves and lats. Core and lateral direction changing strength is particularly important. Cycling and running are very good, but trail running and mountain biking are excellent because they involve more lateral work.
Many skiers use Nordic skating for cross training and often find that due to convenience and economy they are on their skates a lot more often than they actually ski.
Squats, pull downs, hip ab/adductor work, functional fitness exercises, Plyometrics and lots of core are all good for Cross Bladers.
Functional fitness exercises like the “one leg Bosu squat” video below require balance and strength at the same time which builds real world ability for skaters. Functional fitness is simple, challenging and effective. It also adds variety which is fun and stimulates muscles in a way that the same old routine cannot. An easy short cut to adding functional fitness to your life is P90X.
Here is a the Plyometric “skater hop.”
Slide boards are an excellent training tool for Cross Bladers. Slide boards are expensive, but you can build your own for well under $100. Here speed skater Joey Mantia demonstrates the basics and then lets rip with beautiful slide board technique (at least check briefly at 1:30 and 4:30 to get the idea).
Here is a cool, but rare “Skate Mill”.
Hope that helps.
Please share your favorite Cross Blading cross training exercise(s) below.