The ability to be precise with our lower body movements and have complete control over ankle, knee, and hip flexion is essential for staying centered on our skis and in turn skiing fast. Plyometric exercises that require us to jump high or far are great for developing power. However, controlled plyometric movements can be just as beneficial.
Controlled bench jumps are a great exercise for improving joint stability, joint mobility, eccentric strength, and skiing athleticism. Checkout the following tips and video to learn how the precision involved in this movement effectively translates to better skiing.
✔ Maintain an athletic position with chest up and a forward posture
✔ Look ahead
✔ Maintain level shoulders and a quiet upper body fore and aft
✔ Keep your hands in front of you at all times
✔ Maintain a hip to shoulder width stance
✔ Absorb each landing with soft knees and ankles
✔ Bring your knees up to your chest when in the air
✔ Strive to land softly and in the same place with each jump
✔ Challenge yourself to make no sound when landing on the bench
✔ Once you’ve mastered the exercise, try holding a medicine ball in front of you to challenge your nervous system and stability
✗ Moving your upper body fore and aft as you’re jumping
✗ Looking down at your feet
✗ Landing with stiff knees and ankles
✗ Landing hard on the bench
✗ Jumping too high or too far
If you haven’t already, integrate controlled bench jumps into your off-season dryland training. Keep in mind that although this is a relatively low impact exercise, overuse injuries of the lower body joints can still occur with high volume. So, know your limits, control your movements, and have fun.
See you on the hill!
- Team SYNC