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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Skimboarding Training: Fitness Program

A solid strength and conditioning program will make you a better skimboarder. It will allow you to recover much faster between skims. You will also be less prone to injury. You will have more stamina to skim longer and actually have fun, rather than pretending you are having fun as you stand around on wobbly legs, trying to catch your breath watching other people skim.

If you want to take your skimboarding to the next level you’re your definitely going to need a fitness program. Why wouldn’t you? The top athletes in any other sport spend countless hours working on strength training, stamina, and injury prevention. Professional athletes are in peak physical condition. If you want to be one of the top skimboarders, it won’t take any less.

A good program should focus on 5 main areas: Balance, Speed Endurance, Cardiovascular Endurance, Power, and Flexibility.

Good balance is essential in skimboarding. The whole sport is performed on a relatively small board, while in motion on a slick, unstable surface. The benefits of good balance should be obvious. What is not so obvious is that balance training can also help reduce the incidence of injuries to the ankle, knee, hips, back and upper body.

Speed Endurance
Speed endurance will help you to maintain a higher intensity, for longer periods of time. Any athlete that is required to repeat high intensity sprints in quick succession, with minimal rest periods in between, can benefit from this type of training. This is exactly what happens in skimboarding. A high intensity sprint repeated over and over again. It is important that you can maintain your speed throughout your skim session. Without it your rides will not be as long, your ollies won’t be as high, and you will not get the kind of pop that is required for many tricks.

Cardiovascular Endurance
Cardiovascular endurance is the ability to exercise continuously for extended periods of time without tiring. It is an important component of skimboarding. Cardiovascular Endurance deals with how well you are able to get oxygen to working muscles. Working muscles use oxygen to burn carbohydrates and other fuels to produce energy. A high cardiovascular fitness level will help your skim sessions last longer. Longer sessions means more runs, more tricks thrown, and ultimately more tricks landed. The more practice you get on your board, the better you’re going to get, but you can’t practice if you can’t breath.

Power is not just strength. It is a combination of speed and strength. Power = (Force x Distance)/Time. Power training is not just strength training. Strength training focuses on just the force part of the equation. To maximize power, the force needs to be applied in a shorter amount of time. This is the focus of power training, to reduce the amount of time it takes to apply a set amount of force. Power is essential for the most important trick of the inland skimboarder. The ollie. The three most important components of the ollie are, speed, jump height, and how well you pop the back of the board. More power means you will be able to run faster, jump higher, and pop better.

Flexibility is a joint's ability to move through a full range of motion. Increased flexibility means that movement will be easier, require less energy, and ultimately be more efficient. As your flexibility increases, the likelihood of pulled or strained muscles decreases. Fewer injuries means more time on the water. More time on the water means more practice. More practice means…well, you get the picture.

In the coming weeks drills and exercises for each of the areas will be posted. So start getting warmed up.

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