The ability to control our body movements and maintain an aerodynamic position while in the air is extremely important in ski racing. Logging some time on a trampoline in the off-season can help ski racers of all levels become more comfortable in the air and enhance kinesthetic awareness – a sensory skill that we develop in order to know where we are in space.
Trampoline tuck jumps are a great exercise for improving body control in the air. Fine adjustments made by your muscles and nervous system during these jumps effectively translate to better performance on skis. Check out the following tips and video to take your air skills to the next level – and have fun in the process!
Maintain an athletic position with chest up and a forward posture
Maintain level shoulders and a quiet upper body fore and aft
Keep your hands in front and down towards your feet while in the air
Maintain a hip to shoulder-width stance
Absorb each landing with soft knees and ankles
Tuck your knees up to your chest when in the air
Strive to land in the same spot on the tramp with each jump
Challenge yourself by increasing jump height and air time
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
Extending legs too soon before making contact with the tramp
Landing with stiff knees and ankles
Using a large area of the tramp
If you haven’t already, integrate trampoline tuck 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.
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