Upper body power

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  • #9633

    The TftNA book suggests overhanging ladder jumps for upper body power training.

    I am finding the exercise quite strenuous both on the ascent (too weak) and
    on the descent. I find lowering quite taxing on shoulders.

    Do you suggest any other alternatives to ladder jumps?

    What does would the progression in terms of volume and intensity (extra weight?)
    look like in a general period?

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    Anonymous on #9634


    Bouldering, system board work, or campus board work are all good upper body power workouts for climbing. They are easy to increase load due to grade progression, length of moves, time under load, etc.


    Anonymous on #9642

    If you need to reduce the load, I would start by doing them with your feet on the lower rungs. Or if campusing, feet on small holds below the board.

    Steve House on #9717

    Utilizing an advanced and difficult exercise like this will lead to injury if you don’t have the strength base to support it. I would go back to a few rounds of general and max strength workouts and come back to this exercise when you are strong enough to do it properly. I don’t mean to be over-bearing here, but this is a great way to get hurt.

    Anonymous on #9720

    I second what Steve and Scott have said above. This is a plyometric exercise. Like any plyo, the strength gains come from the overloading on the eccentric portion (dropping from rung to rung). You must have a very high level of basic strength in the muscle groups used before doing any plyo work. The inventor of plyometrics, Yuri Verkhoshansky would suggest you need some thing like squatting 2x BW before even attempting box drops. Doing this ladder drop requires very high levels of strength in the shoulders stabilizer muscles or you risk serious injury. The shoulder is not a joint that like shock loading. Weighted pull ups with at least 30% of BW would be a baseline of general strength I’d suggest before attempting this. Even then I suggest starting with standing in a very heavy rubber band to reduce the load. I’ve used this to intro this exercise to women xc skiers.

    BTW this is something we mainly use for XC sprinters to improve Double Pole by 1-2%. You may find much better results coming from uphill Double Pole reps on roller skis this summer.


    xcskier on #11029

    I should probably have phrased the question slightly differently.

    In the book, steep hills sprints are recommended for development of
    leg strength. Is there an analogous exercise for upper body that is
    safe and appropriate even for people that have relatively weak upper

    Anonymous on #11097


    You should have developed a very high level of pull up strength before venturing into this sort of plyometric training. I’d say you should have a max pull up strength of BW+30% at a minimum. Another way to introduce this is using heavy rubber bands to stand in and only going up not dropping down (thats the plyometric portion and is risky if you are not strong.

    You can get very similar benefits with less danger by doing steep uphill double pole sprints of 6-8 sec with 2-3 minute rest between them. These have a smaller plyometric overload effect when the poles first impact the ground.

    This training will yield tiny gains for even an XC sprinter. If you’re not a sprinter I recommend doing uphill double pole intervals for muscular endurance training. This will give a much bigger return in ski performance.

    The Hill Sprints we recommend for leg power are not plyometric in nature. Conventional leg plyometrics for developing lower body power, like depth drops (dropping off a high box) impose loads several time body weight so need a very high level of basic strength. Strength and Conditioning coaches toss around various general strength requirements before they allow athletes to do plyo training. The typical general strength numbers are in the range of 3 x body weight for squats before starting plyos. If you are older than 40 and never engaged in plyo training I don;t recommend it. Its too dangerous for your less elastic connective tissues.


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