Axels, Salchows and Thrusters

By Maurizio Guarrata

In Sports Applications

February 22, 2010

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With only eight weeks to train, Italian athletes use CrossFit to prepare for the World Figure Skating Championships in Torino, Italy.

It is my great pleasure to write about the marvellous success obtained by my athletes who will soon compete at the next World Figure Skating Championship in Torino, Italy.

I found many applications for CrossFit as strength and conditioning coach of the Italian National Ice Skating Team. I’m very lucky to work with the majority of the best national athletes. When I first saw these athletes, I thought I had my job almost done: what could I give them that they hadn’t got? Soon, I discovered they all lacked core stabilization and had never followed a core strength and conditioning program in their entire lives as elite athletes. You can imagine what I thought at that moment.

The athletes soon started to learn and practice the nine fundamental movements, which they digested quite well and incorporated into their daily workouts. After just one month of working out five days a week, the athletes were moving differently on the ice. After CrossFit training, the athletes felt much more stabilized in the midsection, especially women in the couples disciplines.

As far as metabolic conditioning and strength are concerned, I noticed a big difference in less than one month of training. Now all the skaters feel much stronger and have much more stamina. They don’t feel fatigue as before. After just a few weeks of hard training, the core stability has changed dramatically, and squatting, overhead squatting and deadlifting have been of great help optimizing this midline stabilization.

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3 Comments on “Axels, Salchows and Thrusters”

1

wrote …

Great article! Although not at the same elite level, I experienced many similarities when my wife and I found tandem surfing in June of 2009. After seeing some lifts, I said,"That's just like a push press!" The OLY lifts and barbell work I had been doing for the previous year at CFVB just found a new practical application AND I had no prpblem getting my wife to the beach with me. The best of both worlds!

I'm not an ice skater, but I enjoy watching the sport. Once again, nice article.

2

wrote …

Nice work, sir, thanks for sharing your story. Will share with my cousin the skater!

3

wrote …

Maurizio, very interesting reading! I see that both Pair teams in the article have had respectable results at the recent Junior Worlds and at Euros. I will look forward to following Beron/Hotarek at the upcoming World Championships.

I am curious to know if you are working with the ice dancing teams and if Carolina Kostner is working with you now that she is training in Italy again. She has had a strong season so far.

Also, I see you listed with Sesto Ice Skating Club http://www.sestoiceskatenews.it/1/preparazione_atletica_1716101.html. Looks like a great opportunity for these athletes.

I am an adult skater and a judge, and since starting CrossFit, I have a better understanding of what core strength is supposed to be. The importance of trunk/hip strength was also something that had gotten by me, and was never developed until starting Crossfit. Turns and edgework are much more achievable.

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