Just my opinion...
Originally Posted by Bohemian
Anyone actively do it?
Anyone do it during the ski season?
My PT is strongly urging me to do swimming 6 days a week along with the plyometric exercises he has me doing. I know it can get you in shape very quickly and it's a good rehab for my back and knee, but I know that it's not recommended for skiers.
What do you think? I don't want to ruin my form.
Another poster mentioned "core-strengthening" via swimming. Another point brought up was "balancing" muscle conditioning with injury prevention as it's main purpose.
If I may, I would like to say, that plyometric exercises simulating skiing movements, WITHOUT A DOUBT, are the best sports science supported- conditioning activity. On the other hand, can John or Jenny L. Q. Public...non WC level, time-stressed, skier put together the best conditioning/injury preventive workout menu?
I doubt it (I cannot). And if one is put together, I might add it would be either counter-productive to your "goals," possiblity dangerous. Thus, the mixed-stew comment ensues "...well, doing something (swimming) is better than not doing anything at all." ??????
Naturally, I can only speak for myself. So stepping off my soap box (I am no professional trainer or sports scientist), may I suggest you swim to strengthen "core" aspects of fitness. And if you dislike running endless laps- power walking(using various leg and arm attachments) in the pool is an alternative.
I continue to swim(compete in Masters meets too)as a exercise during the ski season for its theraputic benefits. For example, after running SL gates or doing drills on the hill, I can feel the how swimming assists my body as a whole, more efficiently deal, with soreness and fatigue of skiing. A kind of unwinding effect of the muscles.
Unwinding muscle groups or "loosening of the joints," as some posters have mentioned, maybe where many concerns are raised. Whether this is counter productive to fitness for skiing I don't know. I suspect, balanced strength within muscle groups (mentioned by another poster) is far more important than increasing super specific plyometric strength alone. And might assist in injury prevention or be the significant reason why recovery or rehabilitation is successful after an injury.
This balance in workout approach may be even more important as we age or attempt to sustain Masters ski skills as I am attempting to do.
A third issue, for me that is, is the cross-mental benefits of group swimming workouts (twice a week with fellow Master's competitors), supplemented by an impending swim meet. Skiing, at least in my image training/perception of running a Master's level SL course, is not so different then pacing oneself in a 100m or 200m swim event. Mentally, that is. Dealing with competitive stress while sprinting I beleive assists more than detracts in my attempts to be a faster skier and faster swimmer.
To be honest, my primary goal is to improve my Master's SL times. Swimming just happened to be a secondary conditioning activity (along with pre-season plyometric exercises). But as all swimmers know, it is tough to motivate oneself doing laps... to a level where swimming assists in ski fitness, so I started Master's Swimming workouts/meets, as a personal experiment of extracting those benefits of cross conditioning between skiing and swimming. We shall see if my whacky approach bears any fruit during the 2007-8 ski season. Only the Big EpicSki Kahuna knows...
Good luck to you Bohemian