Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pyramids

Alternative names: Hot Laps
Objective: To build up strength and endurance
Typical length of drill: 20 minutes
Materials needed: A full track or just four cones to mark the inside track line
Skill level required: None
Description: Split the group of skaters in half.  The two groups are then going to take turns sprinting on the track and doing calisthenic exercise inside the track, first for the duration of 1 lap, then 2 laps, then 3 laps, and so on, until 5 laps -- this is called going up the pyramid -- and then they come down the pyramid again and end with one final explosive lap.

To illustrate: Group A stands inside the track while Group B lines up on a designated start line on the track.  On the coach's whistle all the members of Group A immediately get into a squat position whilst all the members of Group B immediately begin sprinting.  Once everyone from Group B has completed their 1 lap the coach yells "Switch!" and that's when everyone from Group A is allowed to get out of the squat position and hustle to the start line.  On the next whistle Group A sets off sprinting while Group B holds a squat (again holding until the last person in Group A has finished).  On the next round, Group B sprints 2 laps while Group A does planks.  Then they switch.  On the third round Group B begins by sprinting 3 laps while Group A does push-ups.  Then they switch.  Etc.  Sprinters should practice using their outside voice by yelling out the number of laps completed every time they pass the start line.  This also signals to the coach and the skaters inside the track when the switch will happen.

Some calisthenics suggestions: Regular squats, hold-a-squat, push-ups, crunches, planks, side planks, leg lifts, ab straddles, hydrants, lunges.

Additional notes: Learned this one a few years ago while skating with New Hampshire Roller Derby and I believe it is a widely practiced drill.  I still heart pyramids to this day but IMO it can lose its endurance effect once skaters reach a certain level so this may be best for newer skaters or skaters who struggle with endurance.  Please comment if you agree or disagree.  Either way, I am always a big fan of anything that combines both calisthenics and skating!  I'd also like to add that this is a great drill to do in the clockwise direction.

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