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Pre-season conditioning

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I know I may be a little behind the power curve to get in shape for this season, but I'm trying to avoid my usual habit of killing myself during the early months. Anyway, I was wondering which gym-based exercises I can do to decrease the post-skiing impact and recovery time. I spent quite a bit of time on the stairmaster before last season (1 hr/day aerobic w/ a heart monitor), and that helped somewhat, but I felt like I was only targeting some of the muscles and the rest were screaming on the slopes (probably from my unique, panic-induced skiing style). I have several major ski trips planned this year (Austria/Germany, heliskiing, catskiing...), and I'd hate to lose out because I'm not conditioned properly. Even worse would be an injury for the same reason.

Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Lisamarie- here's a topic you can really expand on if you want (kinda like Italian ski instructors [img]smile.gif[/img] )

post #2 of 16
I use a variety of excersizes. First I use a rowing machine with a sliding seat and a fan for load. I do about 21 minutes at 2:45 per 500 meters. In the 21 minutes, I cover about 3700 meteres. It is great for cardio and flexion/extension.

Then I do leg presses, abductor extension and reverse hack squats. For balance, I walk on a 12 foot long piece of 1/2 inch rope. It is laying on the ground. The is the only workout that I know that really works the peroneal/tibialis group of muscles along the shin that controls balance.

As soon as we have snow, I do a lot of balancing excersizes, such as one ski traverses (uphill and downhill ski), banana turns and linked one ski turns. I also do turns from a traverse with the downhill ski lifted completely off the snow. I just invert my free foot and the movement of the CM engages the ski that is on the snow. I do these excersizes about 2 hours a day at the first of the season. All of this strengthen my ski muscles and improves my balance. It also helps to make me more aware of all four edges.

post #3 of 16
Mike, my concern for someone like you is to combine strength, and power with balance and stability. Since you are doing more challenging terrain than the average recreational skier, you may require more strength power and endurance. But my suggestion would be to develop your strength in conjunctionwith stability training. Being more powerful than you are stable is one of the causes of injury.

Hopefully your gym, like most, have Stability balls. You can do the classic wal sit with the ball behind your shoulder blades. the diffference is that you make it dynamic rather than static. Start out going through full range of motion. Then go to 90 degrees of flexion, but do only partial extension movements.

To prevent ACL injuries, I strongly recommend hamstring bridges on the stability ball. Lie prone, feet about hip width apart. You will need a spotter to keep you in alignment. Gradually lift the spine into a bridge position. If you cannot go up that high, its okay to go halfway, Then, straighten you legs.Then bend them Come down from the bridge. Try again.

If your gym does not have stability balls, try doing things like performing squats and lunges while standing on the mats, rather than on the floor. You can also so one legged squats.
Gotta go teach. More later.
post #4 of 16

I'm an aerobic guy. So, my vote would be bicycling. If you can't ride, get on a spinning bike.

Spin or ride, concentrate on drawing circles with your toes - this means you'll get a full cycle out of each peddle stroke. Push down on the peddle, push foward, pull back, pull up. Keep a high cadence, about 90 revolutions per minute or more.

Then make sure you're working your heart at at least 65%. I'd ride 5 days, 45 minutes at a time.

If you like weights and don't like aerobic stuff, what Rick H posted looks good.

later -
post #5 of 16
16 OZ MGD tall can lifts... [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses.

I don't mind the aerobic-zone part, but I'm not fond of stationary bikes. I was planning on continuing with the stairmaster aerobic conditioning, but I was going to add on some other exercises to focus on particular muscles not covered by climbing stairs. I may alternate with a rowing machine, which I do enjoy but find it hard to stay in my target heart rate. However, I can see where it would work a greater range of muscle groups than the Stairmaster, and possibly with a lower impact.
post #7 of 16
Go with weights and some aerobic stuff. But it doesn't matter what you do, you still find muscles you haven't used in a while the first time you ski.
post #8 of 16
We've got a great micro here in New Glarus for those "curls"
post #9 of 16
Mike, what I neglected to ask you is what sort of equipment your gym actually has. Some gyms still have some slide boards hanging around, ssnd they would be an excellent way to cross train. Also, Urban Rebounding has some ski like moves. They look like mini trampolines.
post #10 of 16
One weight-training exercise I've recently incorporated is the Clean and Press. It hits a heck of a lot of groups in the movement as well as developing core stability. One caveat: learn to do it with a qualified trainer first to avoid bad habits and with a light weight.

Clean and Press

post #11 of 16
Since you use the Stairmaster, one thing that I've found is to not hold on so it works your balance as well. I've seen some people on those things with their arms locked and their feet moving rapidly about 3 inches per stroke and I say what a waste. I'have also lately been using an interval profile that changes the pace (with all kinds of different speeds) and closing my eyes while not holding on. This seems to help me to focus on the feet.
post #12 of 16
You need to remember skiing is an anerobic sport. It is not continuous cardiovascular. Therefore you need to train in that mode. Speed intervals that will increase your cv with recovery. You can't do that on a stairmaster. Go to either a tredmill, crosstrainer, precor efx elliptical trainer if you dislike stationary bikes. A spinning class would work as well. You also need to do strength training--squats, lunges, lateral lunges, abs including internal, external and intercostal, hamstring and quad work as well as some upper body for total core strength. Plus a bit of balance work--one legged squats, working on an uneven surface (wobble board, stepping cones, trampouline, etc.) You will feel your legs but no as much as if you did not prepare. These other things will bring you to the top of your training form.
post #13 of 16
There is a great book published by Mountaineers called "Conditioning for Outdoor Fitness" by David Musnick MD. It is a great book. It includes general sections on exercise physiology, aerobic conditioning and training, nutrition, warm up and stretching, strength and balance training and balalnce and movement patterns, training concepts goals and planning, use of the outdoors in training, anatomy, etc.

But the great thing about it is that it includes a number of chapters with specifics on training for various outdoor activities. There is a chapter on ski and snowboard fitness with specific training regimen.

It also focuses on functionally specific strength exercises using tubing, dumbbells, physioballs, medicine balls, etc. I used use nautilus type equipment and am benefitting greatly from revamping my strength workouts along the lines of this book. Check it out!
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Actually, the aerobic work was for another purpose- namely passing my annual fitness test. However, the stairmaster work did help with skiing, giving my legs a little more stamina as the day went on. I'm sure most leg exercises would do the same to some extent. I'm just trying to prevent my legs from giving out at the end of the day, which usually happens in the middle of the hardest run with flat light. Usually that burned-out sensation doesn't have a focal point- it's like your leg muscles turn to noodles. Thanks for giving me some focal points to concentrate on.
post #15 of 16
There's also a book called "The Outdoor Athlete" by Mike (or Steve-I always screw it up) Ilg. Lots of fun stuff that takes the drudgery out of a workout.
post #16 of 16
Darell: Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!

That book is right in my line of work!
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