Three aspects for a pre-ski season workout
Welcome back to the third and final installment of my ski-specific fall workout. To recap, we are aiming for 30 minutes of cardio each day and 10 to 15 minutes of either plyometric or strength exercises. I suggest alternating plyometric with strength exercises at the end of your cardio workout so you’re not completing the same exercises each day.
Strength exercises mirror skiing because both are essentially anaerobic. This means your muscles will fatigue quickly since you are relying on your muscle strength alone and not oxygen to replenish your fuel.
However, with a short rest period, your muscles will also recover quickly and allow you to repeat the exercise. This is why we can ski for many consecutive hours, yet most of us tire after one hour or less of cardio exercise. As you become stronger, you can increase repetitions of the exercises outlined below or repeat the set two or three times.
Part 3: Strength
• Wall sits: Sit with your back against the wall, your feet shoulder width apart and your knees at a 90-degree angle. Try to hold the position for at least 30 seconds. Be sure your arms are in front of you and not pushing down on your legs.
• Lunges matrix: Starting with your right leg, lunge forward two times, to the side two times and backward two times. Repeat with your left leg. On the second time, lean forward when you lunge to touch the ground. On the third time, raise your arms above your head as you return to an upright position. To increase the difficulty, hold something in your hands, such as a medicine ball or a book, if you’re at home.
• Side-lying abduction: Lie on your left side with your right leg resting on your left leg. Lift your right leg up and slightly back as high as you can, keeping your leg straight. Lower your leg and complete 10 repetitions. Repeat on your left leg.
• Side-lying adduction: Lie on your right side with your left leg crossed over in front of you and your left foot flat on the floor. Lift your right leg as high as you can, keeping your leg straight. Lower your leg and complete 10 repetitions. Repeat on your left leg.
You can also substitute a day of core work for the second part of your workout. Core exercises will help with balance and stability, which are both essential to skiing. These are your trusty push-ups, sit-ups, planks and any of your other favorite ab and back exercises. I cannot wait to see you on the slopes.
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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