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Box Jump Variation

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
One of my favorite skiing exercises has always been the box jump. Described on Epic here - http://www.epicski.com/Content/Train...andBoxJump.htm

I've been doing variations on this exercise for years. But the other day it hit me; most of these drills are based on a fairly quick rebound. This has been true of box jumps, lateral jumps, rope jumps, bench jumps, etc. Sort of bound-bound-bound style.

I tried something new that seemed to simulate skiing better. I set-up a Reebok step bench built up with 8 blocks. I started the lateral box jump the same as always, but this time, instead of immediately bounding back up onto the box (like I was taught years ago), I sank lower, rolled the knees like in a turn, held (maybe for 1-2 seconds), and then exploded back onto the box.

This land, sink, roll, hold, explode movement seems to stimulate the ski muscles more, and side benefit, it works your balance quite a bit.

All the literature I've read about Box jumps for skiing seems to lean toward the quick rebound approach instead of the sink, roll, hold approach. Am I just reading the wrong exercise physiology and plyometric journals, or am I describing something different here?
post #2 of 10
COOL! I'm glad that someone reads the dryland training page. Its AWESOME!!!

One thing I have found, from attending a gazillion sports medicine workshops a year, is that some exercise physiologists in the US are a tad behind as to what is actually beneficial for skiing, specifically.

Things are getting better, though, and theories are changing. What you are describing is deceleration training, which is becoming a highly popular method for PREVENTION of ACL injuries. {do a search for deceleration on this forum}.

The only thing I may take issue with, and perhaps this is just semantics, is the term "rolling the knees". The kinetic chain sequencing actually begins in the feet.

The Canadian Sports Medicine Guys actually take this a bit further. They want to simulate the actions of both the legs an feet during training. But keep in mind, on skis, the boots are protecting the ankles from certain injuries. Some actions of the ankles were not meant to be done without ski boots. So in Canada, some exercises are actually done with ski boots on.

This is a no brainer, but it needs to be said: Anyone with a knee injury should not practice jumping down from any surface!
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Probably just semantics. In this photo from the epic training site:

the subject is doing what I mean by "rolling the knees". It is not a drastic move, just a lateral movement to stress the muscles in a sport specific way. What I found was a bit more knee bend than is respresented here, holding for a second and then exploding back up onto the box seemed more skiing specific, than a quick rebound.

I have also been experimenting with other plyo exercises to simulate bump absorption and landing airs. I've taken two rebok step benches. One built up to 10 blocks high, the other at 5. Set the steps parallel to each other, about 3' apart. Start on the short step. Jump high, land between the two, absorb the landing with a good knee bend, then expode upward on to the high block, bound off and land, absorbing the landing with a good skiing stance position.

My routine now is 3x week,

Warm-up then do 4x10 abductor, adductor, standing calf-raise super set. Do 3 sets of 1 minutes of the lateral box jumps, 10 reps of the "up and overs", and 1 minute bouncing tucks in a circuit. Then go do 4x12-15 squats, followed by 4x12 hack squats. Finish with 4x10 leg extensions super-setted with 4x10 leg curls.

Then ask someone to carry me to my car. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #4 of 10
Oh yeah! I see what you mean. DEFINITELY needs more knee bend on landing for shock absorption and utilization of the hamstrings. On a more positive note, the weight distribution in the feet is on the same line as the angle of the knees, so you can probably assume he used correct kinetic chain sequencing in executing and landing from the jump.

Your routine seems pretty decent. But if you've been following any of the recent sports med research, you may want to give second thoughts to the leg extension. There is more and more conclusive research being published that states that people who are involved in sport who use the leg extension machine are more likely to incur injuries. Make sure you are balancing your strength training with balance/stability training. You may want to supplement one set of leg extensions with squats on a wobble board, dyna disc, core board or Bosu. Stability ball bridges with leg curl can substitute for one set of ham curls.
post #5 of 10
LM, could you please provide some references for the assertation that properly performed leg extensions are evil? At least the names of the key researchers so we can look on PubMed. If there are any good sites with detailed info, some links would be appreciated. Thanks
post #6 of 10
Evil is a strong word, and one that I have not used. If you note what we call this forum; FITNESS & HEALTH FOR SKIING most of the information presented here relates to the effectiveness of exercises that will enhance ski performance.

There is nothing intrinsically "evil" (your words, not mine} about a leg extension machine. For body building purposes, and for quadricep isolation, it is an excellent exercise. {EXCEPT if you have an ACL injury}
But this is not a body building website. Nonetheless, here you go:



there have been various links in different topics on this forum, and the concept of open kinetic chain vs. closed kinetic chain exercises and their effectiveness for ski conditioning has been discussed ad nauseum. When I get a few moments, I will search for a few more links. [img]graemlins/angel.gif[/img]
post #7 of 10
post #8 of 10
My sports medicine doctor (also worked at Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra) also disliked them.
Preferred leg work done using normal leg motions.
post #9 of 10
If you do a search in this forum, there will be many other posts form participant whose physicians or PTs advised them against the extension.

In the end, the choice is yours. There are people who can do them and not get injured. But again,are they an ideal exercise for skiing?

One of the main causes of both injury and poor technique in skiing is an overuse of the quads. So why make the quads even more hypertonic?

Skiing is an integrated activity, whereas the leg extension is an isolated activity. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, TRAINING IS NEUROLOGICAL!

If you train your muscles to work in isolation, they will attempt to work that way in sport or activity. the problem: That's not the way they are supposed to work! In SOME people this can lead to serious problems.

When you have more ski specific or integrated exercises avilable, why waste your time on an inferior one? :

[ October 28, 2002, 06:30 AM: Message edited by: Lisamarie ]
post #10 of 10
Well no offense to PTs and MDs but I find their advice is often suspect for training healthy people (yes, they are sadistic angels for rehab!). They only see the worst case scenarios, which is just a tiny slice of the population. I have looked through many of the previous threads but I cannot find specific references to actual studies in peer-reviewed journals to support the statements that leg extensions harm healthy knees.

I'm fully aware of the neurological component of training but it is just a part of the story and it is also susceptible to plateaus. We constantly need new, varied stimulus to keep making gains. LEs tend to hit the 3 vastus with less involvement of the rectus femoris, which is over-worked by many exercises. Since there is a shearing force in the knee, it would seem that this would help the ligaments become stronger if not overdone. If anything, I would think that the widely advocated dynamic lunges are more damaging even though closed-chain.

As a telemark skier, the quads certainly do get a more intense workout than mere alpine. Since I never do the same routine two gym visits in a row, I want a full repertoire to choose from. Certainly isolation exercises would be very bad if that's all one ever does but they can provide good stimulus as part of a broader program. Considering that millions of people have been doing LEs for decades now, I'd like to see real evidence that they have been harmed before I cut this exercise from my training. Thanks again for your reply!
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