Are You Geared Up And Ski Season Ready To Go?
Fall is in full swing which means winter is around the corner! During this time of the year, millions of people hear the mountains calling their name. Ski season is almost upon us, but are you geared up and ski season ready to go? It’s time to pull out the snow pants, skis and boots and make sure they are all set-up to hit the slopes! How about you? Are you ready to hit the slopes?
Skiing requires you to be in top shape since it requires athletic conditioning which includes power, speed, and explosiveness. Even if you work-out several times a week, skiing can be extremely challenging for the muscles and joints.
We have put together a high-performance plan that includes strength, cardio and conditioning for an all-around plan to whip you into shape, before the powder blankets the local slopes and make sure you are ski season ready.
What Do You Need to Work?
Quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings. The quadriceps hold you in position and protect your knees; your program should include squats and lunges. The hamstrings and glutes help to stabilize and keep your hips in a flexed position. Your ski season ready program should include single leg deadlifts, step ups and regular deadlifts. The inner and outer thighs are also necessary to work for any ski season ready program. The inner thighs keep your skis together, and the outer thighs help to steer you as you meander your way from side to side. Include side lunges, monster walks or abductor and adductor machines.
Endurance on the slopes requires a solid aerobic base and the ability to increase your lactate threshold so you can ski longer before your legs start to burn.
Your aerobic base is created by working out 3 to 5 times a week at a lower intensity (60-70% Maximum heart rate) for 30 to 90 minutes. Your low-intensity days can include walking, biking, jogging, rowing or any other activity which keeps you in the appropriate zone. You should always be able to carry on a conversation when working out in this zone.
When working on increasing your lactate threshold, it is important to kick-up the intensity! You should be training at 70% to 85% of your Maximum heart rate. You need to challenge yourself. However, it is important that you be able to sustain the activity for the following intervals. Aim for intervals of 2 minutes exercise at 85% MaxHr and 2- to 3-minutes off at 60% MaxHr, then repeat the cycles for 5- to 6-intervals.
Active Warm Up Exercises
KNEE-TO-CHEST: Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart. Shift weight to the left leg and bend the right knee, and placing both hands on the right shin just below the knee. Pull the knee close to your chest without leaning forward. Keep the abs tight and the crown of the head up. Hold for two seconds then lower the leg and take a small step forward with your right foot. Repeat the exercise, with the left knee. Continue alternating legs for 20 reps.
QUICK FEET: Stand with a gentle bend in the knees and weight distributed to the balls of feet. Run on the spot quickly as possible, letting the arms swing by the sides. Time each interval on for 10 seconds then rest for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat for 5 sets.
SKATERS: Stand with feet together. Bend the knees and hips to just below 45 degrees; arms should be 90 degrees at the side of the torso. Lift your right foot off of the floor. Jump to the right landing softly on the ground then lift your left foot and jump to the left. Start with small strides slowly increasing the length, speed and height. Continue alternating legs for 20 reps.
Leg Strength Exercises
SINGLE-LEG LEG PRESS: Start by placing a weight that can be achieved with both feet for 15 to 20 reps. Place one-foot mid plate, press up and then lower the plate slowly for 5 to 6 seconds. Stop at the bottom and repeat for 8 to 12 reps. Then switch legs. Build-up to 3 to 4 sets on each side.
ROMANIAN DEADLIFT: Standing, gently bend both knees slightly. Keep the back straight and lean forward by hinging at the hip keeping your back straight as if you had a stick on your back. Press your hips back and maintain a straight back throughout the movement. Return to the standing position, pushing your hips forward at the top and squeezing your glutes. Start with two dumbbells that you know you can do 8 to 12 repetitions. Increase the weight on the second set to a weight you can only achieve 8 reps. Complete 4 sets starting with 8 to 12 reps on the first set then doing 8 reps on the following 3 sets.
SQUAT JUMP: Start with the feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down until the thighs are 90 degrees, then explode into the air as high as possible. Land softly on the feet and sit back into the squat. Increase intensity by jumping on and off a step platform (8-inch height). Do 3- to 4-sets of 8 to 12 reps
SINGLE LEG DEADLIFT: Stand tall with your feet together and your arms elevated straight out to the side. Shift your weight to the right leg and lift your left leg straight out behind you. Lean your torso forward, hinging at the hips until parallel to the floor. Your body should be straight from your head to your left heel, and the arms should remain straight out to the side (forming a T). Hold for 5-seconds then return to the starting position; repeat on the same leg for 20 reps. Switch to the other leg and repeat for 4 sets.
BACKWARD TREADMILL WALKING: Start walking forward on the treadmill at 1.5-2 miles per hour. Start with the incline around 6%. Hop off and straddle the treadmill onto the sides. Turn around and very carefully, hop back onto the treadmill facing backwards—your toes should be pointing toward the end of the belt simulating walking backwards uphill. As you walk, drop into a squat, slowly increasing until the knees are at nearly 90 degrees—similar to a tuck position when skiing. Complete 3 sets of 1 minute, then build up to 3 sets of 3 minutes increasing the incline as high as is comfortable.
Hire a Personal Trainer
These are just a few of the many exercises that should be done to develop a full program to be ski season ready. Remember you should also be including a full stretching/flexibility program that includes foam rolling.
Working with one of Infofit’s certified trainers will help you achieve your personal fitness goals in a responsible, safe and effective manner. If you are serious about a future, fuelled by healthy eating, increased activity and infinite possibilities, then start with your very own Infofit life coach and personal trainer.
Cathie Glennon, BCRPA-SFL