Monday, January 27, 2014

Using Deep Water to Recover Ski Racer's Compressed Spines

 I work with elite ski racers every winter at Waterville Valley Academy in New Hampshire.

Skiing in the fall line exerts enormous gravitational forces on these ski racers spines.

In the video below the racers are recovering their bodies (particularly decompressing their spines and joints) after training up on the mountain by performing " Carioca in the deep water in the vertical position."

The athletes are struggling to maintain vertical alignment of their spine by keeping their pelvis under their shoulders. They must perform the exercise with no "break" at the pelvis. The racers are wearing a flotation belt around their hips so that once this vertical alignment of their spine is achieved, an opposite force can occur and "counter" the force of their body weight sinking. The result of this "opposite force" is traction of the spine.

NOW they can exercise while elongating their spines. For the hour they are in the pool, body fluids can freely move and keep discs healthy.

-the use of large ankle flotation cuffs to challenge the athlete's fight to be vertical as the athletes try to keep them from floating up to the surface.
-the use of the large ankle cuffs to achieve greater ranges of motion in the lower body
-the athlete's fight to find a more powerful and quicker speed once the coordination of the exercise is mastered
-the many qualities of fitness being challenged- COORDINATION, FLEXIBILITY, ENDURANCE, SPEED, POWER