Training Veterans with the SkiErg

Aug 26, 2011

CXC has many different chapters as part of their program, including the Elite, Juniors, Masters, and Adapted teams. This past weekend, I traveled down to Chicago to help promote our adapted sports program at a disabled veteran’s camp. The camp had a maximum capacity of 50 people, which was unfortunate because there are not nearly enough opportunities like this one in the country. The participants, who came from all over, were able to try a variety of sports catered to all different physical abilities. Our sports station offered six laser biathlon guns and targets, four sitskis, and two Concept2 SkiErgs where participants learned proper skiing technique.

Not to brag, but despite the archery, javelin, sled hockey and discus going on at other stations, many people said ours was the most exciting! Some took to the sitskis with a competitive streak and others laughed their way around the track.

However, once it came to shooting, it was no surprise that there was some of the most impressive accuracy I have ever seen. I can only imagine the stories of some of the veterans there; one individual served as a sniper for 17 years. Biathlon was a way many of these veterans could feel at home again. The very promising Paralympic hopeful with one eye was the second best shooter; I don’t think he missed once even on the smallest target setting. The SkiErg came into play when people wanted to try shooting with a high heart rate such as in winter biathlon.

An event like this brings out a lot of emotions. Some of frustration, concentration, and defeat, however those are common no matter who are you and what sport you are trying. What made the long, hot day were the expressions of gratitude, camaraderie, humor and personal victory.

On a different note, yesterday, during my strength session, I warmed up on the SkiErg for 25 minutes, level ten intensity, with the goal to stay between 90-100 watts. A few technique tips came to mind that might be helpful:

  • Keep hips under you, i.e. crunch instead of bending at the waist.
  • Practice poling all the way through, lifting high with the elbows, then coming down and extending your triceps slightly behind you.
  • Make sure you don’t have a death grip on the white handles!

Until next time,

Tags: SkiErg, Training

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