Training Principles in Skiing Preparation
By Carlos Alberto Rivas, M.S, C.S.C.S.
As more and more people contemplate ski trips during the winter months, I''ve noticed more and more injuries or miserable experiences on the slopes due to poor overall athletic conditioning. Whether you are spending your winter on the slopes or just planning a one-time trip, solid physical preparation can make the difference between you having an incredible experience and having an incredibly painful experience. The following are some basic fundamentals we, as trainers, use to make your next trip to the slopes a great experience.
STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING BASE
Before considering a sport-specific program for any sport, it is important for you to achieve a certain degree of base strength and cardiovascular conditioning. Though skiing is a sport that primarily utilizes the legs for power, we believe that a skier''s strength must be developed across the whole body. It is a good idea to spend a considerable amount of time (4-6 weeks if possible) training the whole body through basic movement patterns: push, pull, squat, bend, lunge and twist.
At the center of all training programs lies a fundamental focus on core development. Strength and mobility in the trunk are vital components to moving dynamically and powerfully in skiing. We recommend utilizing the resist-a-balls for both abdominal strength and for almost every area of strength training. Clients balance on the balls for dumbbell chest presses, dumbbell overhead presses, bridge holds (targeting the lower back, glutes, abdominals and hamstrings), and basic abdominal crunches.
Take time after each workout to stretch. Make time for those areas in which you are the least flexible. The best way to gauge your overall flexibility is to take a yoga class or train with a certified personal trainer in order to reveal any flexibility weaknesses you may have. A certified personal trainer will also have an understanding that some exercises may be advisable for your age or physical condition.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Preparation is the key. If you fail to plan you plan to fail. Preparation before hitting the slopes is vital to your entire skiing experience. It is up to you whether it will be a great experience or one of misery. Building a base of total body strength and conditioning will enable you to have a great time skiing.
Carlos Alberto Rivas, M.S., C.S.C.S., is the fitness/personal training director at the Baptist East/Milestone Wellness Center. Carlos has a master''s degree in exercise physiology and has over 10,000 hours of personal training experience. He is also a member of Kentuckiana HealthFitness magazine''s editorial advisory board. Carlos can be reached by phone at 502-896-3900, ext.142.
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