Old Town Hot Springs: Do this to get ready for ski season
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
There are few sports that exercise as many areas of the body as skiing and snowboarding.
Creating high-quality runs requires stamina, strength and flexibility, particularly in the hips and lower body. The constant vibrations acting on the body ensure that leg muscles, quads, hamstrings and core muscles are constantly being used to maintain speed and balance.
Strength training for both concentric and eccentric movements is essential to increase the stamina in the lower body. Concentric movements cause the tension on your muscle as it shortens. As your muscle shortens, it generates force to move an object. Weighted front squats, back squats, loaded lunges and dead lifts are all concentric movements that are great for generating strength and size.
Don’t forget about the eccentric movement. Eccentric movements are often neglected and should be top priority. Eccentric strength absorbs force. You use it to lower yourself into the bottom of a squat or hike down a steep hill. Adding quick, high-rep leg work such as air squats, in-place lunges, jumping lunges and jump squats are a great way to increase the eccentric strength in the lower body.
Anything that gets you out of breath will strengthen your heart and improve your lung capacity. The key to training is to maintain a high heart rate to increase your stamina for those long days on the mountain.Incorporating sprint work will help increase your anaerobic capacity.
A lot of pressure is placed on your hips and lower body, so increasing your flexibility is paramount to increasing your range of motion. Yoga, Pilates and stretching are great forms of exercise to improve posture, technique, coordination and correct muscle imbalance.
Improved flexibility will help you get the most of your time on the mountain and allow for faster recovery and help prevent injuries. Likewise, stretching after workouts is crucial to a fast recovery. A thorough warm up and warm down routine is something all skiers and snowboarders should embrace. Cross training is another great way to increase your fitness.
Equally important is eating a balanced diet of healthy, nutritional food. It’s absolutely crucial to take water up on the slopes, as dehydration can affect your balance.
Old Town Hot Springs is offering its ski and snowboard fitness program with Marietta Roberts. The program is held 6 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and noon on Mondays and Wednesdays starting Sept. 25 or 26 and running for 17 weeks until ski season. More information is available at oldtownhotsprings.org/ski.
Holly Harris is the fitness director at Old Town Hot Springs.
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