T Nation

Iceskater Legs


Damn I want those!

Every autumn/winter when iceskating comes on the news I get so damn jealous.
The strength and endurance combination is truely amazing.
My question is how do these people get those legs?
I guess the old squats and deadlifts will do just fine.
Does anybody know more about their routines, cardio, on season, off season training?

Thanks in advance



From what I remember reading thye do extremely long sets of squats. I think it was Poliquin and Abel who've mentioned these.
Though Abel also credited it to the use of training so many different strenth aspects.

Though for the no competitive athlete I think Timed sets of leg presses would do just fine


Buy a pair of skates and do suicides twice a week. That's a start.


I think speed skaters use the leg press as the exercise of choice. If you are capable of leg pressing 1000 pounds with a full ROM for 15-20 reps, you'll likely have a decent set of quads. The role of genetics can't be neglected either.


This is true, as far as skating, most people will not build huge thighs from skating alone. i should know ive been skating for 13 yars and while it helped a little its nothing compared to squat and leg press


I had found this a while ago...


I remember as a kid watching olympic coverage
with training footage
and seeing HUGE high rep leg presses
and what looked like jump squats with a 135lb barbell.



I believe poliquin advocates 2-minute long sets of leg presses to build up legs. Does anyone have a link to general info for optimal rep ranges for given body parts?


These speedskaters also do alot of technique/dryland training in which they are holding skating posture (squat position)for long periods of time and for lots of reps per session. This is the same concept as timed sets...


First acquire great genetics, then train only your legs with a committed diet and very high intensity workouts.


yeah then lets pretend no one in the olympics or any professional sport does steroids.


then lets pretend thats the reason they are in the olympics while we arent. what a random comment


I'm tired of people saying that they want to know the training routine of someone who's sport builds up a particular muscle.

Quite your job, spend all your time eating and training that muscle, take the best supplements had have regular physio and I'm sure that area will grow.


Thanks for some great replies!

High reps didn't suprise me because they are training for endurance but being powerful enough to pull out that last sprint + keeping posture during the entire race.
I don't think I'll start iceskating anytime soon but I was interested anyway.
I can also vaguely remember some newsfootage of a summercamp for iceskaters in Italy. They jumped from one leg to another whilst climbing a hill. That also makes one hell of a cardio. Maybe that is an idea for cutting-season to try.

Any other remarks or suggestions are much appreciated!



The endurance stuff applies to the athletes involved in longer distances, but the short sprint group doesn't...or should I say...shouldn't be training that way. They should be doing alot of power and max strenth work.

I think it is worth mentioning that when you see an athlete in a particular sport in the Olympics, they have sacrificed years of their lives to train full-time for one reason...to win. If you had the time and resources that many of these athletes do, you might look just like them. But in the end, you might not be as good an athlete as them...there is a reason the are Olympic athletes.


Maybe you should do a search for bodybuilder legs.


While it's tempting and natural to follow the reasoning that it must be something special that they do that results in their having legs like this, actually it's sort of like noticing that top scientists in the particle physics field have high IQ's, and assuming that their working with particle accelerators, or something else associated with their work, boosted their IQ.

Rather, if they had the genetics for low IQ they wouldn't BE top scientists in particle physics. So it's no wonder that all of them have exceptional intelligence.

Similarly, a person with genetics for weak and small legs is not going to rise to the top in this sport.

It should not be assumed that if you follow their training methods, your legs would be better than they are now. They might be smaller than they are now.


I once read that Eric Heiden would do 100-rep squats with 205 lbs. These weren't breathing squats either.


You might want to look into slide board training, and do that instead of your regular cardio (interval style).

Also, a program along the lines of The Hungarian Oak leg blast might be a good choice...


not random at all, i was going off what Westclock said.

with good genes, dedicated training and a little insulin you can get em too. having big legs isnt the same thing as being an Olympic speed skater, if you believe that you are a fool.


I hate that guy.