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Strength & Athleticism & Skiing - Page 3

post #61 of 79
There we go back to the myth thing again. Ghost, you are right, without SOME strength you can not do the technique. But people tend to read that statement and their mind drops the "SOME". It is truly amazing how little strength you need. Once you've learned the technique, a common reaction is "Wow - this is easy." This is because you've finally learned to let the skis do the work instead of fighting them. Yes, once you turn up the pitch and the speed, you will start to need "some" strength, but there is nothing that says the technique can NOT be done at slow speeds and flatter pitches.

Carving 6 meter turns on straight skis, huh? (Insert Lurch groaning sound effect here - Lurch where are you when I need you?)
post #62 of 79
Some one asked me a similar question on another forum. (http://www.nastar.com/forums/viewtop...ighlight=#5433)

Here's my thoughts:

Muscle strength and endurance is probably a good thing for a skier to be able to enjoy hopping over moguls and aggressively skiing across the tops in addition to skidding around them to control speed.

But the biggest impact exercise has is simply allowing us to ski longer with higher quality. As my teacher once said, "Practice doesn't make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect." Being in shape helps us make that 2-4pm time slot as productive as 10-noon, rather than a lotto for who takes a sled ride to bottom.

So, unless you are racing Hermann Maier, you don't need to be built like him. But, basic fitness is definitely a good thing.
post #63 of 79
The way I like to ski, my quads get a workout...so the more I workout my quads in advance...the longer they last on a ski day. This ain't rocket surgery. Quads are just the most obvious area of consequnce...it holds for the whole body.
post #64 of 79
Some personal observations on this topic:

Had taught skiing full time for years and always took the approach of skiing myself into shape and never really put much effort into working out before the season started. This held true until one Summer I decided to take up cycling and racing to prepare my body for the next ski season's D team try outs. I religiously rode 300 plus miles per week and followed in the colder months with weight training (god, I hate weight training). The results once back on snow were impressive to me. I felt I skied better and could be more precise longer into the runs. Now, years later I ski alot less (couple weeks a season if lucky) and have not trained specifically for skiing but can still ski pretty well relying on technique not strength.

My synopsis: *Good technique will mask poor conditioning (to a point).
*Increased strength will compliment good technique but will not improve upon poor technique.

Years ago while working in Mammoth, Arnie Shwartzinager would ski with an instructor all day on the top of the mountain. He just wanted to ski non stop run after run and he didn't care if it was pretty (and it wasn't). He had pretty good fitness and strength but it certainly did not help his technique. He just got a good work out.
post #65 of 79
Thread Starter 
Bud skis very well and he appears to be in excellent shape. Even if your job is in a think tank, being in good shape would improve your performance. And then there's the spiritual aspects of performance, the psychology, or what have you. A stong WILL, as Weems calls it, is critical as well.
post #66 of 79

You Get What You've Paid For

Of course you don't need to be fit to ski well... for one, maybe two runs. If you're a good technician, you can look pretty good, for a little while, but what defines good skiing, as opposed to just sliding around? In my opinion it's range of motion, amplitude, power, agility and ability to react and correct when out of balance. These are all characteristics of individuals who have developed broad and deep general athletic skills. When a skier, even a good one, starts getting tired, the first thing they do is lean in, because they no longer have the core strength to angulate well enough to maintain balance over the outside ski under load. They revert to using their skeletal structure to support themselves. After getting tossed around in the bumps or churning through heavy crud, the weary start leaning on the back of their boots for support. When the skier gets in trouble, lack of strength and agility means the skier can't get their hips up over their feet and commit down to the hill into the new turn; they just explode in a heap. Skiers don't necessarily have to be able to do 70 box jumps in 70 seconds, but it's not an either/or proposition. Develop good skiing skills, develop good athleticism together equally. Addressing the point, if skiers don't put some time in to developing an aerobic base, core and leg strength, agility, balance and coordination off of skis, then when they do go to the mountains, they can plan on spending a not insignificant part of the day nursing a tight back, sore quads and whatever bruises they picked up crashing around the hill.:
post #67 of 79
Most people (especially some here in this thread) need BOTH ... actually as much as they can stand ... in terms of physical fitness and LESSONS.

I have found that exercising my jaws (and fingers) seldoms assists my skiing. STFU and ski.
post #68 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo
Bud skis very well and he appears to be in excellent shape. Even if your job is in a think tank, being in good shape would improve your performance. And then there's the spiritual aspects of performance, the psychology, or what have you. A stong WILL, as Weems calls it, is critical as well.
BRAVO!

those who eschew physical fitness tend to use a lot of rationalization in defense of their sedentary, unfit physical state.

the mind works best when the blood is fully oxygenated.

higher thinking functions exist in animals that have highly oxygenated blood.

physical fitness ensures a steady, well-oxygenated flow of blood to the brain.

and an oxygenated brain controls your movements when you ski, like it or not, conscious or not.

the couch potato might win a NASTAR race but he or she could be and would be better all around if he or she were physically fit.

but don't take my word on it,

find out for yourself. as Bud did. as many of us have.
post #69 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evilanche
Most people (especially some here in this thread) need BOTH ... actually as much as they can stand ... in terms of physical fitness and LESSONS.

I have found that exercising my jaws (and fingers) seldoms assists my skiing. STFU and ski.
funny, partly true, partly false. that's a triple. not quite a home run, definitely not a grand slam. but a good shot.
post #70 of 79
This thread shows up in "Today's posts" and then thought comes. I should see danger here ;-) So much of the defense on both sides of this thread revolves around absolutes. I'm thinking that a relative look might be in order. Strength or fitness has an end. For myself, I ski quite well (Well, considering how poorly I ski) early in the day or anytime I'm "up". There is a dramatic difference in "style and form" displayed when fatigue has set in. Will technique save the day in times like these? Are advocates of fitness acknowledging short winter days? What happens to even the most fit person after they become tired? It's relative.
In example of technique foremost, when I was in training for rescue patrol, sled handling was part of the experience. The first few times between the handles had every muscle spent from top to bottom. You know your not doing it right when muscles you don't even need are tired! Breathing hard and knees shaking, I was in danger of falling under the very sled I was trying to control. Now, with several hundred "pulls", the sled helps me down the hill. Sure, hauling a 300 pounder off a steep bump run will break a sweat, but Technique now dominates the effort. Fluid movement between bracing and free running positions are easy.

I'll admit I'm in about the best shape that I have been in for many years, but "it's not about the bike".

CalG
post #71 of 79
skiing: no strength required... Good stance, however, is required
post #72 of 79

Dancing?

Okay, so I signed up for a dance class that starts tomorrow. It's a dance class that I'm thinking might really help with my core strength and coordination.

How can dancing help with core strength you ask??

The class is "Tribal Belly Dance"

post #73 of 79
Doesn't that do awful things to your back/spine? It always looks uncomfortable...

As a side note, the best thing that I have ever done for my core is boxing and kick boxing. Weight training makes your limbs strong, but boxing and kick boxing brings the whole package together into one.

Later

GREG
post #74 of 79

cross-training

Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
SfDean - Have you tried racquetball?
After a two month break from EpicSki I finally get back to this thread. Sorry about the delay. Years ago, TheRusty, I used to play racquetball, but I had three problems: (1) IMHO racquetball is a sport where skill differences tend to get magnified, so it's a tough sport to do if you don't have a partner at your skill level; (2) I'm a pretty gonzo competitor, and I ended up doing a lot of backward somersaults after diving backward for shots, rolling up onto my neck, with all my 176 lb. weight supported just by my neck at about C4, thinking "Oops. Is this thing going to break now, leaving me paralyzed?" and (3) the thing I really like about ski racing is that I can be as aggressive and enthusiastic as possible, and I never hurt anyone else. With racquetball, if you have a lot more enthusiasm than skill, you end up leaving racquetball-sized welts all over your opponent's back.

Racquetball would be good for changes of direction, but then so are lateral bounds.

SfDean.
post #75 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
BRAVO!

physical fitness ensures a steady, well-oxygenated flow of blood to the brain.

and an oxygenated brain controls your movements when you ski, like it or not, conscious or not.

the couch potato might win a NASTAR race but he or she could be and would be better all around if he or she were physically fit.
Actually, it's interesting, because one place absolute strength and power (explosive strength) does pay off is in a short NASTAR race: In an 18 second race, set on a relatively flat hill, with turns that are not a big technical challenge (i.e., most NASTAR courses) a powerful start, with powerful poling (shoulders, triceps, back) and skating steps (quads) is HUGE, because you carry that speed advantage through the entire rest of the short course.

IMO, for performance skiing (I race, at 48) you should work on strength, power, balance, core, and agility and especially balance while doing resistance work while tired, because that's the challenge you face late in the run or late in the day.

SfDean.
post #76 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfdean
After a two month break from EpicSki I finally get back to this thread. Sorry about the delay. Years ago, TheRusty, I used to play racquetball, but I had three problems: (1) IMHO racquetball is a sport where skill differences tend to get magnified, so it's a tough sport to do if you don't have a partner at your skill level; (2) I'm a pretty gonzo competitor, and I ended up doing a lot of backward somersaults after diving backward for shots, rolling up onto my neck, with all my 176 lb. weight supported just by my neck at about C4, thinking "Oops. Is this thing going to break now, leaving me paralyzed?" and (3) the thing I really like about ski racing is that I can be as aggressive and enthusiastic as possible, and I never hurt anyone else. With racquetball, if you have a lot more enthusiasm than skill, you end up leaving racquetball-sized welts all over your opponent's back.

Racquetball would be good for changes of direction, but then so are lateral bounds.

SfDean.
That's too bad. We have challenge courts at our club that are fairly active. It's fairly easy to pick up a game somewhere close to your skill level. One of the things that I discovered as I was working my way up through the ranks was that the better players appreciated it when you hustled and made them work a little bit even though you had no chance at beating them. So you got a great work out and a chance to "lift yourself" up to their level. Putting a little effort into learning basic strategy (choosing the right shot to hit, controlling the pace of the game) and attitude control (not letting emotion control the game) also helped me play competitively against opponents above my level. We also have enough good players who are willing to dumb down their game to be social to newbies and enough newbies who are brave enough to "get a lesson" the hard way occasionally.

I had to give up volleyball because I could not stop myself from diving for the ball and hurting my back. I know where you're coming from on this. No solution to that except maybe you have to go through a few sports to solve it? Actually, good racquetball technique should only have you diving flat on your belly and low to the floor. It shouldn't be too bad to control, but for some people ... (sigh).

Racquetball is a great game for working out your frustrations. But you do have to learn some limits. Tatoos above the waist are a definite nono. Without some tips from better players, it can be hard for novices to learn how to play safely. I found that conquering this mental aspect of the game was most helpful for helping me to control my fiery personality off the court (but I've found golf to be even better training for this) as opposed to needing to give the sport up because of the inability to play safely. As instructors, we often see novice skiers have the same problem on the slopes that you experienced on the court: they ski too fast and out of control presenting a danger to themselves and others on the slopes. The solution is the same: skill growth, peer pressure or an accident.

The biggest problem with racquetball is critical mass. In many areas there are not enough players/facilities to make playing the game convenient and to facilitate skill growth. Without critical mass, it's easy to go through what you experienced.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but lateral bounds are extremely
BORING!!!
post #77 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but lateral bounds are extremely
BORING!!!
Yeah, but if you've got the whole Calvinist thing going, that can even be part of the appeal. Some of us are definitely weird wired on that front. Me, I've taken one of the coolest thing in the world (skiing) and turned it into a discipline (racing) so I can trick myself into doing it more. (This is good for me.) Which actually is cool, since my racing partners are my 46 year old brother and 12 year old son, and they're both a blast. We definitely have fun--and get faster every year.

SfDean.
post #78 of 79
I don't know about you guys, but I get older every year and have to work out harder just to be a good as I was the previous year. I also race a lot, and my goal is to beat not just those in my age group, but everyone including the kids 1/2 my age that don't seem to have to work out at all.
post #79 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodee
I don't know about you guys, but I get older every year and have to work out harder just to be a good as I was the previous year. I also race a lot, and my goal is to beat not just those in my age group, but everyone including the kids 1/2 my age that don't seem to have to work out at all.
Yup--exactly what Woodee said, plus (1) I don't get to ski enough days a year to ski myself into shape, and (2) some people may be "natural" atheletes but they and I don't share many genes....

SfDean
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