Focus on Fitness: Three aspects for a pre-ski season workout |

Focus on Fitness: Three aspects for a pre-ski season workout

Believe it or not, opening day is fast approaching, and for those skiers and riders out there, it’s time to get moving so you’re ready when the lifts start spinning. There are three important aspects to your pre-season workout: cardio, plyometrics and strength. In just a half an hour, you can incorporate some critical exercises that will leave you feeling solid on the slopes.

Although skiing is essentially an anaerobic sport, meaning our muscles are active for short bursts, without requiring sustained oxygen delivery, cardio is still important to increase the endurance necessary for a full day of shredding.

If your schedule allows, aim for at least 30 minutes of cardio per day. If you only have time for a 30-minute workout, spend the first 20 minutes on cardio and the last 10 on either plyometrics or strength.

Hill work and intervals are great for skiing, because they simulate the quick bursts of power needed to cruise down the slopes.

I’ve outlined a ski-specific workout you can incorporate for four popular sports.

Part 1: Cardio

Walking: Find a route with some hills, and walk backwards up the hills. You can even put the treadmill on an incline and walk backwards.

Running: Incorporate hill repeats into your run. Find a hill that takes one to two minutes to run up. Start by running the hill three times in a row. Run up the hill at 80 percent and walk back down to decrease stress on your knees and joints.

Cycling: Pick a route with lots of hills. Try a 2:1 interval, with two minutes at 80 percent and one minute at 60 percent.

Swimming: Choose a set with lots of interval work. Try swimming 200 at 80 percent, then 50 at 60 percent. Be sure to explode off each wall in your hard set. Start with three sets and increase from there.

Stay tuned for the next column, which will detail some ski specific plyometric exercises.

Valerie Powell is swim lesson coordinator at Old Town Hot Springs, competition services administrator at Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation, and assistant Alpine ski coach at Steamboat Springs High School.

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