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Best Lift for Skiing?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Was in the gym yesterday and this question came up: What is the best lift for skiing? My initial thought was squats for sure but then I could also see leg press and lunges, what do you all do to get ready for the season?

post #2 of 13

Narrow Stance Jump Squat, with DB's held at your sides for high rep.

post #3 of 13

I've always found cardio to be the most import factor in preparing for the ski season, although having a strong core equally important.  Lower abdominal and back strengthing excercises are my key to having an injury free season.  Regarding legs speficially, I prefer lunges as they seem to be the most natural movement and are a great way to strenghten and increase flexibility.

post #4 of 13

All sorts of lifts are good. I find the best thing is to vary them regularly so you don't just get good at the exercise. Work on lifts that work the legs independently as in all forms of single leg spuats and incorporate balance elements to develop proprioception. Single leg squat on a BOSU ball using a kettlebell for example is a great exercise and ticks a lot of ski specific boxes.

post #5 of 13

Best lift for skiing?

 

Hmm... I'm a big fan of the Summit Chair at Alpine Meadows.  wink.gif

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

True, core strength is paramount I always implement abdominal and lower back into my routine. I've also found that having the "big three" into your regimen is imperative to boost overall growth, the big three being: squat, dead lift and bench. 

 

I'm admittedly weak on cardio since I stopped playing hockey competitively in college (and subsequently started boozin' a little more/ enjoying life beercheer.gif ) but I always lifted and kept my core tight I should probably step up my cardio but for now I'm counting taking my dog for hikes.

post #7 of 13

Sounds a bit like you're doing the classic thing of working mainly on the things you're already pretty good at. Of course skiing needs strength but the requirements of a ski fitness regime are broad; core, agility, balance, muscular endurance, aerobic and anaerobic capacity etc. Squating twice your body weight won't cut it on its own on your 57th turn in a bump field. If you're serious about conditioning, get a plan that covers all aspects of your fitness requirements and works particularly on your deficit areas. Structure it properly and stick to it. Set some goals. I guarantee it will make a difference when the season arrives.

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adie View Post

Sounds a bit like you're doing the classic thing of working mainly on the things you're already pretty good at. Of course skiing needs strength but the requirements of a ski fitness regime are broad; core, agility, balance, muscular endurance, aerobic and anaerobic capacity etc. Squating twice your body weight won't cut it on its own on your 57th turn in a bump field. If you're serious about conditioning, get a plan that covers all aspects of your fitness requirements and works particularly on your deficit areas. Structure it properly and stick to it. Set some goals. I guarantee it will make a difference when the season arrives.


Totally agree with this.  Skiing is a dynamic sport and requires conditioning across a wide range, as mentioned by Adie. There are a number of books on this subject - I like Snyder's book Fit to Ski and Snowboard for a good all-around approach.  I find squats, front squats, plyo, olympic lifts, etc to be helpful in getting ready for the ski season, but I also do a lot of mountain and road riding including distance and interval work, lunges, balance, speed work (e.g. agility ladder), and core.  Some people argue that olympic lifts are important because these lifts focus on explosive power, however, this type of lifting takes a while to master and can cause injury if done incorrectly or too aggressively. 

 

IMHO, there is no "best"  single exercise for skiing, even with respect to gym workouts, and I personally need to focus on a broad and balanced approach at my age (54).   

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by canadianskier View Post


Totally agree with this.  Skiing is a dynamic sport and requires conditioning across a wide range, as mentioned by Adie. There are a number of books on this subject - I like Snyder's book Fit to Ski and Snowboard for a good all-around approach.  I find squats, front squats, plyo, olympic lifts, etc to be helpful in getting ready for the ski season, but I also do a lot of mountain and road riding including distance and interval work, lunges, balance, speed work (e.g. agility ladder), and core.  Some people argue that olympic lifts are important because these lifts focus on explosive power, however, this type of lifting takes a while to master and can cause injury if done incorrectly or too aggressively. 

 

IMHO, there is no "best"  single exercise for skiing, even with respect to gym workouts, and I personally need to focus on a broad and balanced approach at my age (54).   

pretty much agree,General physical preparedness

the oly lifts are not all that difficult /dangerous. Yes to master them is hard but to get a working knowledge of the C&J ,cake.

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by loboskis View Post

pretty much agree,General physical preparedness

the oly lifts are not all that difficult /dangerous. Yes to master them is hard but to get a working knowledge of the C&J ,cake.


don't disagree re oly lifts - can learn to do them with a bit of practice and not dangerous if done correctly.  But these lifts have a more complex movement pattern and are done with greater speed than something like a squat.  Both squats and olympic lifts (I'll use cleans as an example) need to be done correctly to reduce risk for injury.  But I think that the risk of injury is greater with cleans because the need for good back position at the start, a straight upright lift, a shrug of the shoulders, getting the body under the bar, and bringing the bar to rest on the shoulders - all done with more power and quickness than a typical squat.  I find these lifts to very beneficial and do as part of my routine in addition to squats, etc., and would recommend that instruction is needed to learn to do them correctly if being added to a gym routine.   

post #11 of 13

I find these fitness threads are very helpful and an interesting read as I am just a very average intermediate skier but I am hoping improved fitness will also improve my skiing.  Its interesting how some focus on the cardio aspect and some on the strength aspect.  To me, skiing is all about strength and I really dont see the cardio piece being as nearly important (assuming one is in decent cardio shape in the first place).  I would think the focus should be on strength training, flexibility, balance and corodination.  For example, I cannot remember ever being "out of breath" (oxygen debt?) while skiing yet virtually every ski day I will eventually feel the leg "burn" which will cause me to start slowing down by the end of the day.  That burn feels exactly like doing four or five sets of squats in the gym at high rep and moderate weight (which admittedly has some cardio benefit but its mostly a strength workout).  Based on this, my inclination would be to focus on strength (whole body but esp. legs, back and core) and also plyo work and flexibility.  

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by amyles View Post

I find these fitness threads are very helpful and an interesting read as I am just a very average intermediate skier but I am hoping improved fitness will also improve my skiing.  Its interesting how some focus on the cardio aspect and some on the strength aspect.  To me, skiing is all about strength and I really dont see the cardio piece being as nearly important (assuming one is in decent cardio shape in the first place).  I would think the focus should be on strength training, flexibility, balance and corodination.  For example, I cannot remember ever being "out of breath" (oxygen debt?) while skiing yet virtually every ski day I will eventually feel the leg "burn" which will cause me to start slowing down by the end of the day.  That burn feels exactly like doing four or five sets of squats in the gym at high rep and moderate weight (which admittedly has some cardio benefit but its mostly a strength workout).  Based on this, my inclination would be to focus on strength (whole body but esp. legs, back and core) and also plyo work and flexibility.  

 

I would generally agree. Cardio builds good foundations and I would recommend maintaining it but if you have a good aerobic level then don't overconcentrate. When you speak of strength, of course you need a good strength foundation but if you think in terms of reps that replicate skiing, the focus should be more muscular endurance focused. I would seriously question whether many of the traditional gym exercises are optimal for our needs. I would generally steer well clear of machines and look at functional movements that replicate skiing movements as closely as possible. The brain doesn't recruit muscles in isolation it works with patterns of muscular recruitment and you need to work like that.

 

I find that the main areas that people neglect partly because they're harder to plan and take a bit more imagination and partly because they don't produce the big burn that particularly male athletes crave are balance, flexibility and stability core work. Yet I have found that working extensively on these areas as part of my training programme has made the biggest difference to my skiing performance. 

post #13 of 13

Thats funny.  I definitely like the big burn and pump from an intense free-weight workout and its sometimes difficult to spend my time doing yoga stretches and planks.

 

I recently started doing the oly lifts and I think they are awesome.  Because I dont yet have good (or any for that matter) technique I dont need to use much weight to get a really good workout.  Moreover, I was really surprised at how much flexibility, coordination and balance they require.  I also really like the overheat squat with barbell for high reps.  Its a great whole body strength, coordination and flexibility movement that really hits the core esp the obliques.  If I had to pick one gym exercise that would be it for me.

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