A recent thread asked the question, "What's the ONE thing you plan to focus on in your skiing this season?" There were lots of great answers, of course, but one response in particular, by SkiRacer55, gets down to the nitty-gritty for all of us skiers. "Doing all my dry land so I can give myself the best chance of staying in one piece. There's always something to be working on in your skiing, but you can only do it if you're upright. In the last two years, in the Masters racing community I inhabit, we've had three deaths, several totally blown knees, and a bunch of other injuries that made the unhappy victim's summer consist of rehab instead of getting buffed for the next season."
Fact is, getting in shape before the first snows fall will help you ski harder earlier in the season and also can help you avoid a season-ending injury. Have a go at these tried-and-true exercises and add any others you think the community might enjoy!
Pick your favorite 4 exercises and give about 1 min. between sets to build endurance
- Classic Squats, 3 sets 12-15 reps - Determine what your single rep maximum is and try to complete the 12-15 reps at 50-60% of that number
- 666 Squats (Hell Squats) - 6 sets of 6 reps taking 6 seconds to go down. Rest 1 second at the bottom, then take 6 seconds to lift back to straight legs - go LIGHT on weight!
- Leg Press, 3 sets 12-15 reps - Alternate between seated leg presses vs. standing leg presses in different days
- Lunges, 3 sets 12-15 reps
- Calf Raises, 3 sets 10-12 reps
- Wall Sit - Back flat against the wall, quads parallel to floor, knees at 90 degrees, arms folded across chest. Start with 1 minute and build up to 3
- Box Jumps, 3 sets of 12 - The box should be slightly taller than the top of your knee caps. Jump up off of two feet and land on the ground on two feet.
Weak hamstrings can lead to ACL vulnerability
- Leg Curls
- Stiff Legged deadlifts (also can help with lower back strength)
You don't need to lift hard and heavy, just enough to get some tone and increase flexibility. Take a look at those racers in their skin suits, you can see the rounded shoulders and biceps.
Using free weights or a resistance band, the following exercises will work your chest, arms, and shoulders.
Chest Fly (pectorals), Biceps Curl and Hammer Curl (biceps), Lateral Raises and Overhead Press (shoulders), Triceps Curls
Do Lateral Raises the Right Way:
Max reps until feel a strong burn, 5 sets with a minute between each.
Core strength is key to balance and safety on the slopes
Assume a pushup position on the floor, but support your upper body on your forearms, keeping hips low and abs tight and your body as stiff as a board from head to toe. Hover in this position for as long as you can, going for longer and longer durations. To change it up, raise and lower each leg about 8"; raise opposite arm and leg and flex and extend while stabilizing with the core.
- Side plank
Turn sideways in a plank position so your weight is supported by one arm (either on the hand or the elbow) with the other arm is raised straight above the head. Hold for 30-60 seconds on each side. To change it up, lower the upraised arm so your hand is on your hip, and raise and lower your hips to the ground for 10 seconds each, switching sides after 8 reps. You also can lift the upper leg toward the ceiling in a side plank position, either stationary or with hip lifts, to add difficulty.
- Hanging crunch
Lie on the floor on your back with your legs lifted 45 degrees. Clasp your hands behind your head with elbows bent. Move your legs like you're pedaling a bicycle and alternately lift your shoulders to touch your left elbow to your right knee and your right elbow to your left knee. Focus on lifting your shoulders rather than raising your elbows to protect your neck.
- V-up twist
- Decline push-ups
Got to have endurance to last all day and all season
- Upright rows or erging - 6 to 8 sets of 40-50 reps
- Eliptical Machine - 12 minutes intensely
- Recumbent Bicycle - 12 minutes intensely
EpicSki isn't the only skiing resource online, just the best. What other sites, books, videos, etc. are helpful for you?
- The library of Crossfit exercise videos.
Sample Crossfit exercise: