Originally Posted by loboskis
All those exercises are great and will get you "stronger" , but true strength you will need weight,period
I disagree completely. I'm an extremely aggressive and strong skier and work with a PT who regularly trains professional skiers. Very few of my exercises involve weights (at most, a 6lb medicine ball, or a couple 10lb dumbbells). I've found that traditional weight training with squats, leg presses, leg extensions, etc., is not nearly as effective for skiing strength.
Pilates is GREAT for core muscle strength (back and deep abdomen).
Jumping deep lunges (start in a deep lunge position, jump and land in the opposite deep lunge)
Jumping deep squats (start with your butt ALMOST resting on your heels, jump as high as you can and land back down into a deep squat)
One-legged wall sits
One-legged deep rearward squats (bulgarian squats? - knee stays as close to vertically aligned with your heel as you can, use your other leg fully extended to counter-balance)
One-legged squats on a bosu
One-legged jump onto a bosu, landing in a shallow squat position, stabalize, then jump off, landing in a shallow squat again (both laterally outside-and-back and forward-forward)
Sideways skater between two bosus
Lunges onto a bosu with a medicine ball twist to the outside
Squats on an upside-down bosu with a medicine ball held above your head
Hip hinges with a couple light dumbbells (works hamstrings also)
One key to doing these exercises is very slow controlled movements - don't just power through them. Focus on using very fine controlled deep movements. A 3-second slow deep rep will work you much more than a quick off-balance 1-second shallow rep. For the jumping exercises, use your muscles to slow your landing down progressively - you're not using your joints/ligaments/tendons to stop your landing. For the one-legged exercises, don't touch down with your other leg throughout the entire set (5-15 reps depending on your own strength).
So many exercises you can do that will whoop you without having to add real external weight. I'd love to see someone that does traditional weight training keep up with me on my exercises. They have very little stabilization muscles, which are so critical in a sport like skiing. To give you an idea, when I was doing more traditional weight training exercises, I was doing a one-legged reclined squat at 250 lbs (~400lbs with both legs) and I'm nowhere near tapping out what I can do with my body weight (170lbs) with the above exercises.
Weight training for heavy weight lifting is COMPLETELY different than strength training for sports like skiing.
Of course, nothing beats skiing, so what do you do when there isn't much terrain to ski? Try leaving a ski at the top of the lift and ski down on one leg. It takes skill and a bit of practice before you can get the hang of it (especially turning in the direction of the ski'd-foot), but it'll burn your legs like nothing else. Once you have moguls, start doing GS turns through them - launching off one mogul, and landing on the downhill side of another (this is very similar to the jumping deep squat, I mentioned earlier).
As for ACL injury, working with a good PT is critical for coming back to aggressive skiing. At 5 months, I had enough strength to be stomping smaller cliffs again and skiing full speed through chopped up powder without pain. I'm on target to being back to stomping 30+' cliffs before January.
Edited by Brian Lindahl - 11/14/13 at 1:55pm