Ski jumping is a high-flying winter sport that requires immense skill, strength, and endurance. It is one of the most fun skiing aspects, including thrill, excitement, and flying. The view is breathtaking up on the mountain, but flying and feeling the crisp air on your face would be remarkable. So, how do ski jumpers train?
Ski jumping requires strength, endurance, cardio, fearlessness, and technique to fly through the wind safely.
Training for any skiing type is the fastest way to achieve mastery in it. Read on to learn how to soar through the air and land safely on the ground.
What Is Ski Jumping?
Before you get into ski jumper training, it is wise to know the basics of the sport. Ski jumping is a winter sport in which athletes launch themselves off a ramp, known as the in-run, and fly as far as possible before landing on a steeply sloped landing hill.
The jump’s distance is from the takeoff point to the landing point, and the athlete with the longest leap wins.
The first ski jumping competition began in the 19th century. However, the first-ever ski jump on record is of Olaf Rye, who jumped the distance of 31ft in 1808.
The sport takes place on a snow hill that has a natural slope. The terrain includes a jumping ramp, takeoff table, and landing hill. Different sizes and categories of ski jumping hills differ in size and construction point. A summary is as follows:
|Class||Construction point||Hill size|
|Small hill||To 45m||To 50m|
|Medium hill||45m to 74m||50m to 84m|
|Normal hill||75m to 99m||85m to 109m|
|Large hill||100m to 169m||110m to 184|
|Ski flying hill||Over 170m||Over 185m|
The participants receive scores regarding their travel distance, style, and weather conditions. Some judges sit on each point of the terrain to measure and look at the person’s technique and style.
Each element of a ski jumper has different points. For example, a flawless jumping style can get a participant 20 points.
Ski jumpers must possess physical and mental attributes to succeed in the sport. These include:
- Explosive power
How Do They Train In Ski Jumps?
Ski jumping requires immense strength in the lower body, particularly in the quads, glutes, and hamstrings. In addition to lower body strength, ski jumpers must have a solid core to maintain balance and stability in the air.
Therefore, training is a crucial component of ski jumper training and typically involves different workouts.
Ski jumpers use a variety of training strategies to develop the physical and mental attributes required for the sport. Some of the most common training methods include:
Plyometrics, also known as jump training, is a type of exercise that focuses on explosive movements. This type of training is particularly beneficial for ski jumpers, who must quickly generate tremendous speed and power.
Plyometric exercises that help develop explosive power, which is essential for skiing, are as follows:
- Jump squats
- Verticle jumps
- Lateral jumps
- Box jumps
- 45-degree bounds
- Depth drops
- Depth jumps
- Broad jumps
Ski jumping is an incredibly demanding sport that requires both explosive power and endurance. Therefore, ski jumper training typically includes cardiovascular and endurance exercises to build stamina and boost the body’s energy.
Some great endurance exercises that will help you prevent common skiing injuries are:
- Double leg squats
- Balance board squats
- Double-leg squat jumps
- Crab walk
- Hamstring curls
- Single leg stepovers
- Hope over jumps
Cardiovascular training is crucial for ski jumpers, as it helps develop the endurance required for multiple jumps and competition.
Cardiovascular exercises include:
Ski jumping is highly technical, and athletes must master the proper techniques for optimal performance. Therefore, ski jumper training typically includes extensive technique training that hits all the technical aspects of the sport:
- The takeoff
Ski jumpers must generate sufficient speed and power on the in-run and launch themselves off the ramp at the right moment to achieve maximum distance.
- Body position
Ski jumpers must maintain a stable, aerodynamic position in the air to minimize air resistance and maximize distance.
Ski jumpers must land on the landing hill at the right angle and speed to avoid injury and maximize distance.
Mastering these techniques can be challenging, but the proper workout will be a piece of cake for you. You can try the box jump variants to adopt the perfect landing and takeoff for your next ski jumping adventures.
Ski jumping is a mentally challenging sport that requires focus, concentration, and a solid mental game. Therefore, mental training is essential to ski jumper training.
In addition to mental training, ski jumpers must also manage fear. Ski jumping is inherently risky, and athletes must overcome their fear of injury and failure to perform at their best.
You can try the following exercise to boost your mental health for ski jumping:
- Visualization exercises
- Deep breathing
How Often Should You Train?
Ski jumper training schedules vary depending on the athlete’s experience level, competition schedule, and personal preferences. However, it is best to train all year, focusing on building strength and endurance during the off-season.
A typical ski training week may involve four to six training days, with one or two rest days. Training sessions may last two to three hours and may include a combination of plyometrics, strength training, cardiovascular training, and technical training.
What To Do Regarding Injury Prevention and Recovery?
As a ski jumper, injury prevention and recovery are critical components of ski jumper training. Athletes may work with physical therapists to develop injury prevention strategies and rehabilitation programs to help them recover from injuries.
Additionally, ski jumpers can do supervised workouts to remove strains and recover from muscle injuries.
Focus On Nutrition and Hydration
Proper nutrition and hydration are essential for ski jumper performance and recovery. Ski jumpers require a high-calorie diet rich in nourishment to help them build body strength and boost their immune system to fight harsh weather conditions.
Athletes may work with nutritionists to develop customized meal plans that meet their unique nutritional needs.
Ski jumping is a fascinating and challenging sport that requires a unique combination of physical and mental attributes. Ski jumper training programs typically focus on developing explosive power, strength, endurance, technique, mental stability, and fear management.
You can learn to fly and feel on top with dedicated training and a passion for the sport!