Ski Training 101

Ski Training 101
by  Darcie Schmitt

Downhill skiing and snowboarding is a very strenuous activity.   It is important to prepare for any extended ski trip by getting physically fit.  A day on the slopes will be much longer, safer, and fun if you are prepared.  These six exercises will help you build your strength and endurance.  Whether you want to ride the deep powder, carve perfect S’s on groomed corduroy, or bang moguls you’ll need to be in top condition.  Start early and stick with your program well before you ever step into a lift line.  When you catch the first lift of the morning and you’re the last one off the mountain in the afternoon, you’ll be glad that you trained ahead of time.

Begin your workout routine with a 5-minute warm-up.  Proceed with these six strengthening exercises in a circuit three times through.  Complete your workout session with 30-45minutes of cardio adding in short, intense sprints on the treadmill, elliptical, bike or stairmaster.  Complete this workout 3-4 days per week and you will reduce fatigue and have a safer, more enjoyable ski season.

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Exercises:

1.      Front Lunge with Medicine Ball Press

2.      Lateral Stepovers with the Bosu

3.      Medicine Ball Rotations in the Lunge Position

4.      Back Plank with Physioball

5.      Monster Walks

6.      Dumbbell Tricep Kickbacks

Front Lunge with Medicine Ball Press

This is a classic quadriceps exercise that aids in the process of deceleration down the ski hill.  Your quadriceps need to be strengthened to hold this static ski

position.

(Muscles engaged: Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Gluteus Maximus and Anterior Deltiods)

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, tighten your abs, inhale and take a large step forward with your right leg.

·        Plant the ball of your right foot on the floor and sink into the lunge with both legs meeting a 90-degree angle.

·        As you step forward, press the medicine ball away from your chest, arms parallel to the floor, with a slight bend in the arms.

·        Exhale, pull the medicine ball back to your chest and push all of your weight through the heel of your right foot to come back to the starting position.

·        Repeat by stepping forward with your left leg.

·        Alternate legs till 15 reps are completed for each leg.

Lateral Stepovers with the Bosu

Lateral stepovers build coordination, strength and give you quick

feet.

Skiing requires short bursts of intense effort

and this exercise will increase your endurance for the long hall down the ski hill.

(Muscles engaged: Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Gluteus Maximus, Hip Adductions and Hip Abductions-Inner & Outer Thighs)

·        Place bosu blue side up and begin a stopwatch for 60 seconds.

·        Stand a couple inches away to the left of the bosu and step onto the bosu with the right foot first and then the left foot.

·        Once on top of the bosu step down with your right foot first and then the left foot.  Reverse lateral stepovers by left foot stepping into the bosu first and the right foot following.

·        Continue to step side to side with a quick pace for 60 seconds.

Medicine Ball Rotations in the Lunge Position

This exercise will strengthen the quadriceps as well as the abdominals.  Strong abdominal

muscles are very important in skiing.  A skier’s stability depends on strong trunk muscles; however, traditional crunches aren’t enough to meet the demands of skiing, because they only strengthen your central abs.  This exercise works to strengthen the oblique’s, which will help with ski turns and balance.

(Muscles engaged: Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Gluteus Maximus and Obliques)

Stand with feet shoulder width apart, tighten your abs, inhale and take a large step forward with the right leg.
– Plant the ball of your right foot on the floor and sink into the lunge position.  Both legs should be bent at a 90-degree angle.
– Hold the medicine ball in front of you, parallel with the floor, tighten your abs and lead with your shoulders to move the medicine ball side to side.
– Continue though the exercise with a quick pace and keep the lower body static.  Perform rotations for 20 seconds with the right foot in front and repeat on the left leg.
– Aim for 40-80 seconds of rotations depending on ability level.

Back Plank with Physioball

The back plank will help a skier with low back fatigue that may occur due to the static position a skier must maintain.  This exercise also strengthens the gluteus maximus, which may help you maintain balance during a ski turn.

(Muscles engaged: Erector Spinae (low back) and Gluteus Maximus)

·        Begin by lying in a supine position on your back.

·        Place ankles on top of the physioball and raise your hips off the floor.

·        Tighten the abs and the glutes during this isometric hold.

·        Hold the back plank for 60-90seconds depending on ability level.

Monster Walks

This muti-plane exercise develops strength and the range of motion needed to control inward as well as outward movement of the legs, especially in heavy snow and during high-speed turns.

(Muscles engaged: Quadriceps, Gluteus Maximus, Hip Adductors and Hip Abductors-Inner and Outer Thighs)

·        Stand with your feet shoulder width apart; tighten your abs and glutes with a slight bend in the knees.

·        Choose an exercise ring that is challenging for you and place around ankles.

·        Swing your right foot forward in front of the left foot and place around both ankles.

·        Swing the right foot forward in front of the left foot and trace a J with the foot before placing it an inch in front of the left foot.

·        Follow through with the left foot and complete 20 steps per leg.

Dumbbell Tricep Kickbacks

This exercise will increase your upper body strength by utilizing the triceps as you propel yourself forward.

(Muscles engaged: Triceps and Erector Spinae-low back)

·        Stand with feet shoulder width apart and bend your back forward to a 90-degree angle; your back should be parallel with the floor.

·        Place upper arms tight to the upper body and bend at the elbows so the elbows are pointing towards the ceiling.

·        Hold the dumbbells in hands as if they were candlesticks and extend the arms back towards the hips.  Keep upper arms high and parallel with the floor.

Published January 2010

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