Tag Archives: ski training

Ski/Board Strong, All Day Long: Week 6

Welcome to the FINAL week of the Ski and Snowboard Series. This is a progressive strength and conditioning program specific to snow sports injury prevention and performance enhancement.  If you have not been skiing this year yet or are feeling like you need a little zip in your technical moves, the following blog is for you!

The previous blogs in this series direct you in beginning hip, core, and balance exercises.  Here are the links to the blogs and videos:

Week 1: Glut med and balance progressions

Week 2: Front plank and squat progressions

Week 3: Clams and side plank progressions

Week 4:  Bridge and hip power progressions

Week 5: Lunge and rotational stability progressions.

If you have not done any of the previous weeks exercises, you may not be fit enough to safely perform the following plyometric exercises just yet.  If you’re just tuning in, we strongly recommend going back to cover the basics before attempting these advanced exercises.

What are plyometrics?  A plyometric activity occurs a muscle is lengthened quickly and then shortened quickly (called a stretch shorten cycle).  This is highly effective in developing power.

Unfortunately there is little understanding by many on how to prepare for and how often to do plyometric training.  We do know that the most important component of plyometrics is ensuring that you warm up with dynamic stretching and mobility work.  It is also important to perform a consistent strengthening program for 1-2 months (similar to weeks 1-5 above) prior to the first session of plyometrics.

Perform the following exercises in the video 1-2 sessions per week at most.  Start with moderate intensity/speed and increase as you feel that your body can accelerate in a controlled manner.  Perform on a solid surface using two feet and progress towards the unstable surface (BOSU ball) and to one foot.  Perform each exercise for 1 minute and repeat 2 times each.  Make sure that you do not have any pain while performing these exercises.

Continue performing the exercises above for the remainder of the snow season including 3-5 of the most challenging exercises from the previous blogs listed above.  This will help keep you healthy and strong for the entire ski and snowboard season.

Check back with our blog for the next few months as we outline common injuries and exercise remedies.

Happy Skiing and Boarding!  Own the slopes!

Still not motivated or don’t have enough time to practice every day?  Come to Total Body Fitness every Tuesday and Saturday where we will feature specific exercises geared towards snow sports fitness.

Ski/Board Strong, All Day Long: Week 5

Welcome back to the fifth week of the Ski and Snowboard Series.  This is a progressive strength and conditioning program specific to snow sports injury prevention and performance enhancement.  By now you should have a good base strength to protect you from injuring yourself the first day out on the slopes.  Also by now, hopefully you have made it to the slopes!  The previous weeks direct you in beginning hip, core, and balance exercises.

Week 1:  Glut med and balance progressions

Week 2:  Front plank and squat progressions

Week 3:  Clams and side plank progressions

Week 4: Bridge and hip power progressions

The coming ski and snowboard posts will be emphasize development of your speed, agility, and power necessary for some seriously technical moves!

Lunge Progression – Week 5

The lunge exercise is one of the best total lower body exercises there is.   Eccentric muscle contractions in the gluts, hamstrings and quadriceps occur while performing the lunge, which creates strength for powerful movements.  The lunge will prepare your legs for more technical moves such as jumping and moguls.

Start: Stationary lunge.  Step one foot forward making sure that your front knee does not go beyond the toes.  Keep the trunk upright and abdominals engaged while lowering the back knee towards the ground.  Repeat 2 sets of 10-20 repetitions on each side.

Progress:  Perform the dynamic lunge by stepping back between each repetition.  To further advance it, add a rotational twist into the front leg.  Perform 2 sets of 10 – 20 repetitions or to fatigue.  

Squat and Rotation Progression – Week 5

Since much of our time on skis and snowboard are spent in a slight squat, this is a very sport specific exercise to improve your stability with shredding, moguls, or for creating power prior to aerial moves.

Start: Squat with rotational chop.  While holding a squat, use a weight or medicine ball to perform a low to high diagonal movement.  To progress in intensity move the weight faster without letting your hips/trunk sway.  Perform 2 sets of 30 seconds or to fatigue.  Repeat the other direction moving the weight low to high from your opposite side.

Progress: Single leg squat with rotational chop.  Perform 2 sets of 30 seconds or to fatigue.  Repeat the other direction moving the weight low to high from your opposite side.  Perform on each leg. 

Still not motivated or don’t have enough time to practice every day?  Come to Total Body Fitness every Tuesday and Saturday where we will feature specific exercises geared towards snow sports fitness.

Check back for next week’s installment of the ski and snowboard series!

Ski/Board Strong, All Day Long: Week 3

Welcome back to the third week of the Ski and Snowboard Series.  This is a progressive strength and conditioning program specific to snow sports injury prevention and performance enhancement.

Missed the earlier posts?  See them here: Week 1 and Week 2

Gluteal Progresssion – Week 3

Although it is essential to perform challenging and fatiguing large muscle strengthening exercises, it is also essential to continue working on small muscle stabilizers.  Keeping stabilizing muscles active during skiing and snowboarding will protect the joints and ligaments during movements involving large torques or change of direction.  As explained last week, holding that crouched posture down the slopes takes endurance mixed with bursts of power.  If you don’t have enough endurance to last the entire run it will be difficult for joint stabilizers to do their job during technical moves requiring quick changes of direction or bursts of energy.  Here is a video of how to keep those hip rotators strong.

Start: Sidelying clam.  Perform 2 sets of 10-20 repetitions or to fatigue.  Make sure your hips stay stacked and that you engage your lower abdominals to prevent low back twisting.

Progress:  Add resistance tubing when you can perform 20 repetitions before tiring.

Core Progression – Week 3

This closed chained progression is the best core stabilization exercise for the lower abdominals.    Having a strong core that coordinate with the hips well will dramatically improve your balance and power during technical moves.  The progression to dynamic rotations is even more specific for improving stability during change of direction on the slopes.

Start: Side plank.  Modify to bent knees if the full plank is too difficult or if you are just beginning.  Perform 3 sets of 30 seconds or to fatigue on each side.

Progress: Dynamic rotations with the upper torso.  Perform 3 sets of 10-20 reps or to fatigue on each side. 

Still not motivated or don’t have enough time to practice every day?  Come to Total Body Fitness every Tuesday and Saturday where we will feature specific exercises geared towards snow sports fitness.

Check back for next week’s installment of the ski and snowboard series!

Ski/Board Strong, All Day Long: Week 2

Welcome back to the second week of the Ski and Snowboard Series.  This is a progressive strength and conditioning program specific to snow sports injury prevention and performance enhancement.

Last week’s blog emphasizing gluteal and balance progressions can be performed in addition to this week’s series emphasizing more advanced gluteal and abdominal stability work.

Core – Week 2

After performing the floor gluteal strengthening and balance exercises a couple of times we are ready to progress to what we call closed chained strengthening (feet on the ground), which is very specific to skiing and snowboarding.  Holding that crouched posture down the slopes takes endurance mixed with bursts of power.  If you don’t have enough endurance to last the entire run, you will be too gassed to perform any technical moves requiring quick changes of direction or bursts of energy.  The best way to develop both types of strength in the core is by performing a variety of plank exercises described in the video below.

Start: Stationary plank on elbows/toes.  This can be modified to elbows and knees.  Perform 3 sets of 30 seconds – 1 minute or to fatigue.  If you are able to hold the stationary plank for > 30 seconds with good form, attempt the more challenging versions.

Progress:  Dynamic plank on BOSU hands and toes or leg extension.  Perform 2 sets 10-20 of each or until fatigue.

Circuit these sets with the squats (below) or balance drills from last week to save time and keep your heart rate up.

Gluteal Progression – Week 2

This closed chained progression is the most specific to both skiing and snowboarding technique.  Having stong hip extensors and the ability for your core / hips to coordinate well together will minimize the possibility of improperly edging or wiping out on the board because you couldn’t get your hips centered in time.  The progression in the video below (to one leg squats) emphasizes glut and core coordination for improving quick change of direction.

Start: Double leg squats.  Perform 2 sets of 10-20 reps or to fatigue.  Add hand weights and lower body slowly to increase load.

Progress: Single leg Squats.  Perform 2 sets of 10-20 reps or to fatigue.

Still not motivated or don’t have enough time to practice every day?  Come to Total Body Fitness every Tuesday and Saturday where we will feature specific exercises geared to snow sports fitness.

Check back for next week’s installment of the ski and snowboard series!

Ski/Board Strong, All Day Long: Week 1

Ski and Snowboard Series

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and you are probably feeling the pressure of the holiday season.  Having a goal in mind and program in place will alleviate some of the pressure and keep you focused.   Knowing that there is a 10 foot base of snow will keep you motivated to start prepping for ski and snowboard season.   To help you progress your training safely, we will be uploading weekly videos.   We will also be posting about common snow sport injuries and training pitfalls.

If you routinely hit the slopes every winter, you are already aware of the potential risk of injuries without prepping your trunk and legs properly.  You are not only at risk for injury, but at risk for poor performance.  Everyone dreads the soreness after their first day back on the mountain.  Doing just a little bit of training will dramatically reduce the aftermath of that first day.  Each week we will post two sets of exercises that are focused on a specific muscle group or coordination of multiple muscle groups specific for skiing or snowboarding.  Get going today with these exercises for week 1.

Week 1 – Gluteal Progression

Week one of snow sport training involves waking up dormant hip muscles (specifically the gluteus medius).  This muscle is essential for stability and power during change of direction while carving or shredding down the mountain.

Start: sidelying hip abduction  – Perform 2 sets of 10-20 reps on each leg or until fatigue in the side of your hip.

Progress:  band walks – perform 1 minute walking even distances to the right and the left or until fatigue.

Week 1 – Balance Progression

Without superior balance we would not be able to stand up let alone descend the mountain on our skis or snowboards.  Standing on one leg coordinates glut and core activation, also essential for safe and efficient mechanics on the slopes.  Balance can be improved in extremely short amounts of time IF you practice it.

Start: Single leg stance.  Hold for 30 seconds.  Repeat on both sides.  Progress to performing with eyes closed.

Progress:  Single leg stance on an unstable surface and/or ball toss.  Hold for 30 seconds.  Progress by closing eyes.  Also, progress by tossing a ball for 30-60 seconds.

Still not motivated or don’t have enough time to practice every day?  Come to Total Body Fitness every Tuesday and Saturday where we will feature special exercises geared for snow sport fitness!

Check back for next week’s installment of the ski and snowboard series!

Ski and Snowboard Series – Week 6 – Plyometrics

Welcome back to the FINAL week of the Ski and Snowboard Series. This is a progressive strength and conditioning program specific to snow sports injury prevention and performance enhancement.  If you have not been skiing this year yet or are feeling like you need a little zip in your technical moves, the following blog is for you!

The previous blogs in this series direct you in beginning hip, core, and balance exercises.  Here are the links to the blogs and videos:

Week 1: Glut med and balance progressions

Week 2: Front plank and squat progressions

Week 3: Clams and side plank progressions

Week 4:  Bridge and hip power progressions

Week 5: Lunge and rotational stability progressions.

This final series emphasizes plyometric exercise.  If you have not done any of the previous weeks exercises, you are not ready to do the following video.   What are plyometrics?  These can be performed in the upper or lower body, when a muscle is lengthened quickly the shortened quickly (called a stretch shorten cycle).  This is highly effective in developing power.

Unfortunately there is little understanding by many on how often to do plyometric training.  We do know that the most important component of plyometrics is ensuring that you warm up with dynamic stretching and mobility work.  It is also important to perform a consistent strengthening program for 1-2 months (similar to weeks 1-5 above) prior to the first session of plyometrics.

Perform the following exercises in the video 1-2 sessions per week.  Start by going moderate intensity/speed and increase as you feel that your body can accelerate in a controlled manner.  Perform on a solid surface using two feet and progress towards the unstable surface (BOSU ball) and to one foot.  Perform each exercise for 1 minute and repeat 2 times each.  Make sure that you do not have any pain while performing these exercises.

Continue performing the exercises above for the remainder of the snow season including 3-5 of the most challenging exercises from the previous blogs listed above.  This will keep you healthy and strong for the entire ski and snowboard season.

Check back with our blog for the next few months as we outline common injuries and exercise remedies.  In addition we will be featuring some of the latest pieces of fitness equipment including benefits and common pitfalls.

Happy Skiing and Boarding!

Ski and Snowboard Series – 5

HAPPY NEW YEARS EVE!

Welcome back to the fifth week of the Ski and Snowboard Series.  This is a progressive strength and conditioning program specific to snow sports injury prevention and performance enhancement.  By now you should have a good base strength to protect you from injuring yourself the first day out on the slopes.  Also by now, hopefully you have made it to the slopes!  The previous weeks direct you in beginning hip, core, and balance exercises.

Week 1:  Glut med and balance progressions

Week 2:  Front plank and squat progressions

Week 3:  Clams and side plank progressions

Week 4: Bridge and hip power progressions

The last two ski and snowboard blogs will emphasize developing your speed, agility, and power necessary for technical moves.

Lunge Progression – Week 5

The lunge exercise is one of the best total lower body exercises there is.   Eccentric muscle contractions in the gluts, hamstrings and quadriceps occur while performing the lunge, which creates strength for powerful movements.  The lunge will prepare your legs for more technical moves such as jumping and moguls.

Start: Stationary lunge.  Step one foot forward making sure that your front knee does not go beyond the toes.  Keep the trunk upright and abdominals engaged while lowering the back knee towards the ground.  Repeat 2 sets of 10-20 repetitions on each side.

Progress:  Perform the dynamic lunge by stepping back between each repetition.  To further advance it, add a rotational twist into the front leg.  Perform 2 sets of 10 – 20 repetitions or to fatigue.  

Squat and Rotation Progression – Week 5

Since much of our time on skis and snowboard are spent in a slight squat, this is a very sport specific exercise to improve your stability with shredding, moguls, or for creating power prior to aerial moves.

Start: Squat with rotational chop.  While holding a squat, use a weight or medicine ball to perform a low to high diagonal movement.  To progress in intensity move the weight faster without letting your hips/trunk sway.  Perform 2 sets of 30 seconds or to fatigue.  Repeat the other direction moving the weight low to high from your opposite side.

Progress: Single leg squat with rotational chop.  Perform 2 sets of 30 seconds or to fatigue.  Repeat the other direction moving the weight low to high from your opposite side.  Perform on each leg. 

Still not motivated or don’t have enough time to practice every day?  Come to Total Body Fitness every Tuesday and Saturday where we will feature specific exercises geared towards snow sports fitness.  There will be no class on Sat Jan 1st in observance of New Years Day.  Check back Monday for tips on goal setting for your resolutions.

Our  CPMC Sports Wellness holiday specials are available until January 15th.

Happy Holidays!