The world of personal training is bringing me the opportunity to take some of my clients to the next level when it comes to their performance during the ski season. For the last few years I have being developing a six week training program specific for skiers to improve their confidence, performance or injury prevention.
There are three main components that will help to get you fit for skiing.
1. Cardiovascular fitness and endurance. This is the key to keep you going on those long days out skiing and to recover quicker for the next day. It’s an activity that you can keep constant during the whole year, even keeping it interesting, try to hike, run, cycling, rowing, swimming, cross trainer,… every day if not most days of the week for a minimum of 30-60 minutes. Include a long day of +2 hours close to the date of your ski scape.
2. Strength Training. Gaining strength in your lower body and core take priority, however don’t forget about your upper body.This are the basic exercises that you can perform ahead your ski season:
Walk forward with one foot as far as you can, and keep the toes of your other foot remain attached to the ground. This improves strength and balance, as well as gets some injury preventing stretches into your legs.
Put a bar on your shoulders, keep your feet shoulder width apart, and go as low as you can while keeping your eyes focused on the wall in front of you. It may burn now, but your thighs will feel that much better while you’re doing some beautiful turns on a snowy day.
Start from a standing position, then drop to the ground for a pushup. Next, use the upward momentum to get to your feet, and end with following through to a jump with your hands in the air. Repeat and remember you’re doing it for the mountains.
UTKATASANA (A.K.A. CHAIR POSE)
There are many yoga poses that can help you prepare before you get on the lifts, but the utkatasana is a perfect one. Basically, you stand with your feet almost together, knees not quite at a 90 degree angle, and extend your hands in front of your face. Your body will remember this one.
LATERAL SIDE JUMPS
Draw a line on the floor, hold your body straight, jump sideways over it, plant, and return to the first side. Repeat. This closely mimics skiing movements, so it will prepare your mind as well as your body.
Do as many elaborate forms of ab workouts as you want, but at least hit the elbows-to-knees basics. You need those core muscles for all the leaning that you need for steering.
Rest on your elbows while your hands rest in the floor in front of your face. The aim is to hold your body as straight and flat as a plank for as long as you can. This helps give you an all-around core and back exercise to offset the muscles getting built from your sit-ups.
FULL PLANK TAP SHOULDERS
Get in a pushup position, hold your body as straight and flat as a plank, leaning slightly forward to enhance shoulders. From this position your aim is to tap your opposite shoulder alternatively. This will work your on your shoulder stabilization at same time your core.
Proper Overhead Press form starts standing with the bar on your shoulders. Press the bar over your head until your elbows are locked. Don’t use your legs, keep them straight. Lower the bar to your shoulders and repeat.
A proper pull up form starts hanging on a pull up bar. Grip the bar shoulder-width apart with straight arms. Pull yourself up by pulling your elbows to the floor. Keep pulling until your chin passes the bar. Lower yourself all the way down until your arms are straight. Then pull yourself up again.
A quick note is to keep stretching in order to improve your flexibility as snow sports can put us into physically demanding positions and our bodies need to be able to bend, we might get pulled more than we want. being flexible in our hamstrings, quads and trunk is one way to help prevent injury!
3. Balance exercises and other core exercises including the stabilization of hip and thigh muscles are one important part of keeping your knees stable and preventing knee injuries. Another important part of preventing knee injuries is proper skiing technique.
Finally, when you are skiing your protection is the helmet and strong muscles to protect your frame, realistic this training it’s endurance and impact training. Without a doubt, downhill snow sports is like a controlling a fall down a hill. In order to prepare our bodies for this type of work (eccentric muscle contraction) we need to practice it! The next level, with supervision is to run up and down hills, stairs or practicing jumping will help us prepare for the impact of skiing.