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Quads and calves

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I thought I was doing everything right for preseason such as spinning, muscle max and some pilates thrown in there. I skiied Sunday for the first day this season and now can barely walk due to stiff and sore quads and calves. I remember this happening last year and missing 2 days out of my 7 day Christmas race camp. What very specific things can I do to these 2 muscle groups for the next 2 weeks to avoid having to miss any days of camp this year?
post #2 of 14
This may seem contradictory, but you probably need to work your hamstrings harder. When they are not strong enough, the quads totally take over the skiing movements. I'm rushing off to work at Copper, but if you scroll down and find the thread titled ACL article, there is a photo of the stability ball hamstring curl.

One other thing: You might also want to check your ski technique. Quad pain is ogten the result of being in the back seat.

Welcome to Epic!
post #3 of 14
Stretch your calves out before skiing, stay forward in your stance, and work your hammies in the gym.
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by offthecouch View Post
I thought I was doing everything right for preseason such as spinning, muscle max and some pilates thrown in there. I skiied Sunday for the first day this season and now can barely walk due to stiff and sore quads and calves. What very specific things can I do to these 2 muscle groups for the next 2 weeks to avoid having to miss any days of camp this year?
Two weeks isn't very long, but the following works for me as a regular routine (and helped me with my racing camp this year--the other Masters racers got sore, but I didn't. Of course they skied better than I did, complaints and all.)

One day a week of heavy leg-oriented weight training, including
Clean and press (2 sets of 6) (but don't do Olympic lifts unless you can do them safely)
Heavy squats (2 sets 10)
Light squats (1 set 24 x about 60% of the weight you can do 10 times, done rhythmically without a break)
24 Walking lunges with a dumbell in each hand -or-
24 Step ups with barbell on my shoulders
Seated hamstring curl (1 set 12)
40 lateral box jumps
Lying hamstring curl (1 set 10-12)
Weighted jumps with a dumbell in each hand (2 sets of 8)
Calf raises or seated calf raises

One day a week of plyometrics (jump training) including:
3+ sets of 32 lateral bounds/side-to-side skier hops
2 sets of 18 scissor jumps
2 sets of 40-80 box jumps
3+ sets of 25+ lateral jumps over an obstacle

James Radcliffe's book Jumping into Plyometrics has a specific regimine for skiers (but you need to do more exercises per set than he suggests to get the anaerobic threshold training that mimics the demands of skiing.) Good luck.
post #5 of 14
Since learning about "Hindu Squats" (do a Google search) and then incorporating them into my other skiing specific routines 2X a week-my 66 year-old quads have never felt better the first day out on the slopes!
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by offthecouch View Post
I skiied Sunday for the first day this season and now can barely walk due to stiff and sore quads and calves. I remember this happening last year and missing 2 days out of my 7 day Christmas race camp.
Even in the best of shape, my 50 year old body would not function after a ski day without Tylenol and a soak in the hot tub.
AHHhhhaaaaaa!!!!!!
post #7 of 14
Sore quads are the result of balancing on the tails of your skis. No amount of gym work will help your quads as much as learning to stay over the center of your skis.
Core strength is far more important for skiing than leg strength. I did a USSA coach's fitness clinic last year (fitness for athletes, not coachs), and the Olympic Training Center coaches emphasized balance and core strength over leg strength, and endurance over peak strength. All their excercises were done either on one foot or on a balance ball, with body weight only.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfdean View Post
Two weeks isn't very long, but the following works for me as a regular routine (and helped me with my racing camp this year--the other Masters racers got sore, but I didn't. Of course they skied better than I did, complaints and all.)

One day a week of heavy leg-oriented weight training, including
Clean and press (2 sets of 6) (but don't do Olympic lifts unless you can do them safely)
Heavy squats (2 sets 10)
Light squats (1 set 24 x about 60% of the weight you can do 10 times, done rhythmically without a break)
24 Walking lunges with a dumbell in each hand -or-
24 Step ups with barbell on my shoulders
Seated hamstring curl (1 set 12)
40 lateral box jumps
Lying hamstring curl (1 set 10-12)
Weighted jumps with a dumbell in each hand (2 sets of 8)
Calf raises or seated calf raises

One day a week of plyometrics (jump training) including:
3+ sets of 32 lateral bounds/side-to-side skier hops
2 sets of 18 scissor jumps
2 sets of 40-80 box jumps
3+ sets of 25+ lateral jumps over an obstacle

James Radcliffe's book Jumping into Plyometrics has a specific regimine for skiers (but you need to do more exercises per set than he suggests to get the anaerobic threshold training that mimics the demands of skiing.) Good luck.
at the last USSA clinic Idid, the trainers completely avoied excercises with heavy weights, in favor of light weights, high reps and unstable latforms. They also completely dismissed plyometrics, because of the limited benefits and the high risk of injury. Of course, they were only talking about training teenage athletes competing at the national level, so if you are a middle-aged office worker weekend warrior, YMMV.

BK
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer View Post
at the last USSA clinic Idid, the trainers completely avoied excercises with heavy weights, in favor of light weights, high reps and unstable latforms. They also completely dismissed plyometrics, because of the limited benefits and the high risk of injury. Of course, they were only talking about training teenage athletes competing at the national level, so if you are a middle-aged office worker weekend warrior, YMMV.

BK
good advice, for the most part heavy lifting is for bodybuilders and competitive weightlifters. When traing with heavy weights, you will retrain you nervous system to fire off larger groups of muscle fibers with each contraction leading to reduced endurance.

By the way, if you really do have a hamstring deficiency, might I recommand romanian deadlifts.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
The common denominator I am hearing from people is that I am probably weighted too far back. I have new boots which I feel are too stiff for me and now I think I can blame them for not allowing me to get forward enough. Besides needing some hamstring work do you think my boots can be partly to blame? I had them cut into last year to try to soften them a little but I think I need to start over with a brand new boot.
post #11 of 14
I think Lisamarie hits on it with her post with respect to positioning. It sounds as though you were physically ready however you may want to reexamine your boot fit, setup, canting as well as your positioning and centering on your skis. Calves and Quads certainly are the quickest recipients of after the fact pain since they are the first to compensate for skiing equipment and technique flaws.

To train specific muscles such as calves and quads I think is of little benefit outside of incorporating them into an overall balanced larger muscle group leg training. IMO, jumping rope and bar weight only explosive squat jumps with variable duration and intensity are better examples of ski function.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by offthecouch View Post
The common denominator I am hearing from people is that I am probably weighted too far back. I have new boots which I feel are too stiff for me and now I think I can blame them for not allowing me to get forward enough. Besides needing some hamstring work do you think my boots can be partly to blame? I had them cut into last year to try to soften them a little but I think I need to start over with a brand new boot.
I was slow to post my above comment and now noticed this comment from you regarding your boots. YES, I'm sure it is the major factor with such an extreme pain you experienced. Get thee to a good boot fitter (many exampled on this forum with specific locations) and check out your current setup.
post #13 of 14
your calf muscles really should not be working all that hard when you ski. the opposing muscles - on your shins - should be flexed much more often than your calves. that said, i do find that walking in ski boots can be a calf workout...i take my boots off asap after skiing.

dorsiflexing your feet properly will also help keep you centered, which greatly reduces thigh burn as noted above.
post #14 of 14
This topic of calves and quads came in to play with me this past weekend. Let me try to explain my source of calve pain.

In earlier threads I had read that quad pain while skiing may be caused by riding the heals of the ski or being in the back seat. I experienced quad pain my first time out this year. So, my second time out I concentrated on being in the center of the ski. Amazing!! No quad pain.....however, the pain in the calves were excruciating!!!!

So, to further complicate the source of pain in the quads or calves, there is this......I had previously been skiing on a Fischer GS ski, the AirCarbon Ti model of a few years ago. A race ski. On this ski I would commonly experience quad pain.

Now I am on an all-mountain ski by Elan, the Magfire 10. This set up puts me exactly in center of the ski, hence calve pain.

My questions are.....If a binding system is set back from the center of the ski, will this promote quad pain?? And a ski set up in center, will this promote calve pain??

Mind you, I could be in better shape than I am, but could the ski set up have anything to do with "where the pain is??"

There is more to this, I know. But does any of this make sense??
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