Get ready to tackle the more demanding terrain on the slopes this season.
Be Strong Ski Strong Part 2
Skiing by its very nature exposes our bodies to large and unpredictable forces. The loads placed on our legs and back often several times our body weight. To better absorb these loads and improve skiing performance, strengthening exercises have obvious importance and remain the backbone of any good skiers training program. It is essential, however, to appreciate that the physical demands of skiing are multifaceted. Skiing requires not only strength but also a combination of agility, coordination, balance, fitness and endurance. Any comprehensive training regime should be specifically tailored to meet all these demands.
Power training is especially beneficial for more advanced skiers, who need the explosive strength to tackle the demanding terrain. Although often overlooked endurance training is another essential element of any comprehensive training regime. A huge number of skiing injuries occur as a result of fatigue. As our muscles fatigue, they quickly lose the strength and coordination necessary to control our skis and protect our joints from injury. We have all no doubt experienced this. If we are lucky we manage to pull up before falling, stop, compose ourselves, rest our burning thighs and then carry-on. If we are it lucky we fall and risk potential injury. Even if we don’t fall, no one wants to be the guy constantly waited on by their mates at the lift while they rest. By putting in a bit of effort now you can avoid this because trust me on a powder day they won’t wait long!
The following exercises will improve strength, power and stability. By gradually reducing the rest times between exercises we are improving endurance and preparing our muscles for the short bursts of high-intensity work we require of them to get down the hill. These exercises should be performed preceding two sets of the exercises featured above. This will again improve endurance and provide an adequate warm-up before more intense power training.
5. Lateral Jumps
6. Lung with a twist
This is an advanced core control exercise to activate the abdominal, especially obliques and quadratus lumborum. Similar to ‘The Plank’ the idea is to lie on your side ensuring the top hip is above the bottom hip. Push up until there is a straight line through the feet, hip and head. Keep the elbow directly below the shoulder. Hold the position for 20-30 seconds. Repeat three times gradually increasing the length of the hold.
Try reducing rest times between sets or performing exercises back to back to improve endurance. Pay particular attention to form and remember to dedicate some time to stretching before and after exercise. If you are unsure about any old or existing injuries or experience discomfort beyond normal muscle soreness please consult an appropriate health professional for advice.
Finally, remember to ski sensibly this season. Ensure all your gear is in good order and please ski to the conditions.