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Core strengthening routine ?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Lisamarie (or other trainer out there),

Please provide details of a core strengthening routine you would recommend for skiers. I'm guessing you would want to include the Swiss ball crunch I just saw over at the C.H.E.K web site.

Thanks in advance,

post #2 of 31
Thank you for asking! First, check out this:

Click on the "free exercises" icon

The stability ball crunches are also great!

If you weight train, you can play around with core stability. Try to do a lateral raise with one arm, while keeping the opposite foot off the floor.

In a few weeks, I am taking another workshop on Reebok's Core Board. I'll post more on that later on.

Although the vew-do and other balance boards are great, I personally think its important to do some exercises that develop stength and balance simultaneously.

I will post more as I think of them, and I'm sure Top Gun will come up with some things I left out.

I've offered this a few times, but nobody ever takes me up on it. if we ever have a Bear get together, we can try to put some things on video, and link it to this site.

BTW, don't forget togo to the Training section on EpicSki and click on the Conditioning link! there's some great stuff there!
post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the links to a couple of great resources. I've made myself some stick person diagrams and now I'm off to the gym. I'll let you know how it goes.

I had previously been to the Epicski training section you mentioned. I have already started using some of those exercises in my routine.

Thanks again,

post #4 of 31
Wow! If you feel like really going crazy with this stuff:

What do you think of the idea "The tail must not wag the dog"?

How would you apply it to skiing?
post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 

OK, back from the gym, and a great workout it was. I have been doing the back extensions for a while, but not with the "twist." Adding that took it to a new level. My spinae erectae are going to give me some feedback tomorrow. Next I went to the ball. I'm 5'11" and selected a 75cm ball and tried some basic crunches. What a cool sensation - at times I felt like I was floating in mid-air. It was also very easy on the lower back. I had to keep my feet spread about as wide as the ball, but I'm thinking that with practice I can narrow that. After that I tried some skiers crunches. On paper they didn't look like much, but I could really feel them hitting the lowest portion of my abs. Again, more feedback (soreness) expected. Finally I tried the "aerobesic twist (see LM's article linked above)." I'm glad I was the only person in the aerobics room. I think at best I managed 1/2 a rep before falling over every time - quite a humbling experience. It really underscored the fact that we can never do enough when it comes to refining our balancing skills.

Thanks also for the other links you've added, I'm still perplexing over the doggie and it's tail question.

post #6 of 31
Great sites you're giving. Now I know why you were trying the squat-adductor excercise earlier. Keep on dreaming up new and different ways to deal with getting in shape.

The other day, freaked out my PT when I was doing the ankle exercise on the Fitter(barefoot-still dead spot on lateral edge of right foot), while tossing a five pounded off the Rebounder. He was afraid I would fall. Duh...I am aware of his concern, but wanted to work on core at same time.

BTW wrote to Louis Stack like you suggested with all my stories. No answer yet.
post #7 of 31
That "bfit" link is great. This was posted last July and I printed it out and have a copy in my gym bag. A couple of sets of the back scratcher really get my hamstrings going. I can't figure out the back extension w/ twist, my feet keep slipping off the wall.

The aerobesic twist is pretty humbling. I am working for more ankle strength and balance and this is just what I was looking for. I am now up to a few sets of 6 reps on each side with a bobble here and there. I even added this to the warm up for the girls soccer team I coach.

The ski fitness class I am attending this fall has us kneeling on the fit ball( with tall upper body) for 3 min periods with out holding onto anything. I am now up to 1 min and then I have to reset myself. This is a great core balance drill.

In the previous ski fitness class I had taken for years, we would also do side-ups. Someone sits on your lower legs while lying sideways, arms across chest and lift your upper body sideways. These were great and 10 reps is tough to do.
post #8 of 31
I have a quick and easy (time-wise [img]smile.gif[/img] ) core strengthening routine that I find to be thorough and effective.

<UL TYPE=SQUARE>3 exercises, done 3 of every 4 days:
<LI>Leg-Lifts - Lie on back, lift legs and chest 8 inches off ground, hold until the pain is unbearable.
<LI>Back Extensions - Lie on stomach on an exercise ball (2-3 ft. diameter), hook toes under something (couch, in my case). Lower your shoulders/chest, then raise shoulders/chest. Your lower back gets worked hard. Repeat as many times as possible.
<LI>Sit Ups on Ball - Do basically the opposite of the last one, sit on the ball, hook feet under something and do sit-ups with no rest or support for shoulders/chest.[/list]
Takes less than 10 minutes. In a month and a half you'll have a stronger core and that strength will grow quickly from there. You would be amazed at what a wide range of activities a strong core helps.
post #9 of 31
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by AC:
[QB]I have a quick and easy (time-wise [img]smile.gif[/img] ) core strengthening routine that I find to be thorough and effective.

3 exercises, done 3 of every 4 days:
Leg-Lifts - Lie on back, lift legs and chest 8 inches off ground, hold until the pain is unbearable.

AC...if you are lying on your back, how do you lift your chest off the ground?
post #10 of 31
You start on your back, then lift your legs and shoulders off the ground -- at which point your pelvis is the only thing touchingthe ground (and maybe a little of your lower back). This works a lower part of your stomach than traditional situps.
post #11 of 31
Okay, AC, I need to adavance your program. First, try the ball exercises without anchoring your feet under anything. On the back extension, raise opposite arm and leg simultaneously, as yoy extend your spine.
Have Fun!
post #12 of 31
LM, if I don't hook my feet, then I would have to move the ball further toward my head and therefore there would be less resistance each time. Wouldn't that be less effective?
post #13 of 31
If you have a Fitter machine, check this out:Place hands on platform and grip firmly.

The push-up position can be on your feet or knees depending on individual ability.

Brace the spine by drawing your lower abdomen inward.

Squeeze glutes and SLOWLY move the skate side to side.

It is important to keep the head central with weight equally on both hands.

Excellent for the obliques, but very challenging.
post #14 of 31
Check out these pics from the Stone Clinic in SF. The PT was working with a female ski racer who had suffered from a spinal injury.

The article is a bit technical, but if you are interested:
post #15 of 31
Dbldmd, you can also do your side ups on the ball. if I find a picture, i will post it. There is a woman in Boulder Linsay Zappola, who taught stability ball to the US ski team.
Speaking of which....
Did anyone see the inerim footage of the race at Loveland/ They showed Picabo performing squats on the Stabilty Ball! I do NOT suggest that any of us mere mortals attempt to do that!!!
post #16 of 31

I've seen Stone Clinic before, but thanks for reminding me. Will have to give it a good look. My PT did nothing like the picture with me. Yup, will give it a good look.

Loved the idea a FITTER was being used!! Just ordered the snowboard trainer from them.
post #17 of 31
Good stuff here. Last year I did a lot of weights and spinning. Just out of curiosity I am doing more core stability, balance and pro-proreceptor(?) training along with aerobic conditioning to see how that works.

Oh yeah, combined with plenty of skiing of course.

post #18 of 31
Great links LM! I've forwarded them to my personal trainer. We've been working with the big ball and the medicine ball - I'm psyched to add some of this stuff to my routine!
post #19 of 31
I'm glad you have been enjoying this thread! Here is a great way to integrate core training with traditional training.

Perform a machine exercise, such as the hamstring curl. Follow it with a stability exercise that works the same muscle group, such as the hamsting bridge.

Do a set of squats on the squat rack. Then do a set on either a half foam roller , a dyna disk , or a wobble board.

I'm sure you all can come up with some fun combos. which may be good to share with each other.

The benefits of training this way are that you can [i]FEEL[/I the muscle group on the equipment exercise, and since you can use more weight, you get your strength training accomplished.

Then, you integrate your strength with balance. You will be able to use considerably less weight on the balanced challenged exercises. Your goal is to eventually make that gap smaller and smaller.]
Have fun!
post #20 of 31
I use the excercises listed on the bfit url posted above. However I take it one step further on each excercise. After I pull the the ball towards my rear or p on my toes, I then rotate my hips to one side then the other then back down to start position. Same position as if you lie on your back with knees up and together, then rotate your knees to the floor on one side. Now just stick the ball under your feet and you have it. Works great for me.

Several others to do with cables and light dumbbells. Will post a few others if any interest. Good luck and have fun.
post #21 of 31
Super! Integrate obliques with hamstrings, glutes and transverse. Way to go! Definitely post some ideas. I do a lot of work incorporating cables and weights!
post #22 of 31
Thread Starter 
LM, I've not seen the pictures you refer to of Picabo performing squats on a ball, but it sounds incredible. I'm wondering - how did she progress or build up to that. I have to assume she didn't just hop up there and go for it. What were the interim steps?

Dbldmnd, Most gyms have a back extension bench which also works well for the side-ups. That's where I've been doing mine. BTW, there's a beer from England called Double Diamond. Its tag line used to be "A Double Diamond works wonders, works wonders, so drink some today." They used to have it on draught in The Corona St. Grill in Dillon, but I think they dropped it - shame.

post #23 of 31
Gary, I saw this on TV, when they were showing one of the women's races at Loveland.
In the "intermission' they would show the training routines of different team members. I'm not sure of what the progression was. I do have a hidden suspicion that elite skiers have a naturally more active transverse abdominal muscle, that enables them to stabilize well in most situations.

I just found an AWESOME book on this subject. Its called Strength Ball Taining, by peter twist and Lorne Goldenberg. Not only does it contain some of the best stability and medicne ball exercises I have ever seen, it has some excellent content about the kinesiology of core trainig.

To paraphrase a bit of it, they speak of the body's speed center, which is comprised of the transverse abdominal muscle, the lower back, the hip flexors and extensors, the abductors and adductors, and the gluteals. In any sport, these muscles iniate, assist, and and stabilize all movement. Something to consider when training for core strength.

I'm sure most of you know this, but prior to performing any balance challenged exercises, it is important to "set"the transverse abdominal muscle. This can be done by drawing the navel upward and inward, almost as if you are being given a heimlich maneuvor. Its actually a good idea to do this 10x a day, holding the contraction for about 10 seconds. It does not matter what position you are in when you are doing it or even if you are simply walking around. Practicing this will make you more used to using your deeper abs most of the time.

Although this topic is core strength, keep in mind that in skiing, as in most sports, everything is related. Many people start to have trouble when they begin learning pole plants, either because they have poor core stabilty, lack of scapular stability, or most probably, both. On page 75 of Strength ball training, there is an interesting exercise. "Hug" the ball in front of you. Your arms . Assume an athletic ready position. Have a partner try to slap the ball in different directions, as you try to maintain your position.
I will have AC put up an Amazon link to this book!
post #24 of 31
Another way to hit the abs, a variation on AC's, is to put on the ski boots while raising the legs.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 11, 2001 01:52 PM: Message edited 1 time, by ryan ]</font>
post #25 of 31
Keep in mind when performing leg raises, you need your entire lower back to be flat on the floor. And if you have any tendency towards back problems, you need to be really careful with them.
Crunches are good for training the rectus abdominus, which is the superficial layer of abdominal muscle. The diagonal twists and turns work the outer layer of the internal obliques. Absolutely nothing is wrong with training these muscle groups!

All of these are working the outer layers almost exclusively. Too much reliance on flexion type crunches can lead to someone being in a hunched position when they are on skis. So you really need to do something that challenges your balance to activate your transverse. You also need to work the abs ECCENTRICALLY, in extension, rather than concentrically, in flexion.
Try this. Put a stability ball on the seat of an incline bench. Roll the ball up to the top of the bench, letting your body weight transfer foward. great for someone who needs to be more foward on their skis!
post #26 of 31
I have been using the stability ball over the last 6 months as well. I have some comments about this paragraphs from Lisamarie's post: "Gary, I saw this on TV, when they were showing one of the women's races at Loveland.
In the "intermission' they would show the training routines of different team members. I'm not sure of what the progression was. I do have a hidden suspicion that elite skiers have a naturally more active transverse abdominal muscle, that enables them to stabilize well in most situations.

Here is the progression: First get on the ball in a kneeling position, with your shins comfortably "curving" around the ball. Not much different than kneeling on the floor, except that you are on the stability ball. Stay close to a stationary object (wall, pole, weight rack) which you can grab with your hands in case you lose your balance. If you lose your balance sideways or backwards, no problem, but falling forward will be no fun. You should be able to stay in balance for 30-60 seconds eventually. You will also find that this engages your thighs and works them quite well - especially when balancing in the for-aft plane. When you are really good at this, you can try to stand up on the ball. Squats are the next step.

I find that kneeling on the ball forces you to use your midsection and thighs. I do that version mostly. Standing up is easier on the thighs and removes most of the abs/obliques action. But staying in balance is much harder. Having something to grab in case you fall is important. Squatting I never tried.
post #27 of 31
One of the trainers at the gym teaches this on the mats next to the climbing wall. [when nobody else is climbing! ] So if they wall, they are on a soft mat. She also has them right against the wall. Its still a bit scary to me!

Another thing to try. They have foam rollers that have been cut in half. You can try your squats on them, trying to stay at the center of the roller.
post #28 of 31
Gary, are you sorry you asked? Check these out!

BTW, when you click down to page 2, two of the exercises, the squats on the rocker, and the paddle tubing, have the descriptions and photos reversed.

Be sure to check out the new thread in this forum on Core Board, as well as the one on Olympic workouts! [img]smile.gif[/img]
Have fun!
post #29 of 31
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone,

I've not been here for a while, but great stuff.

Tom B, thanks for the suggestions regarding balancing on the ball from a kneel. I'll be trying that.

LM, I'm definitely not sorry for asking - I've noticed some drastic improvements after only a couple of weeks.

Our area finally opens Dec. 26th. Will have only 1 evening on skis before coaching a holiday race camp on 27-28th. Yikes.

post #30 of 31
Gosh, I think I had better think about doing something easier to start with. I just looked at the link in Lisa's first response and I do not believe that I could do one of any of those things. I guess I am further out if it than I thougt.
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