There are at least six weeks before Montana’s ski hills start opening up, but now is the time to start preparing with a few simple exercises. Lift tickets are expensive, a little preparation now will help you get the most out of a day on the hill. I have gathered five of my favorite pre-season exercises below. They can be done just about anywhere, without any fancy equipment.
If you do find yourself cramping up the first couple of days out on the hill, remember Warren Miller’s secret; Roloids. They go into your blood stream and take the lactic acid out of the muscles, which is what causes the pain and cramping. For more of Warren Miller’s medical advice click here.
1. Isometric Power: TV Sits
“The wall sit makes you resist the force
of your own body weight, which simulates what happens in certain parts of the turn while skiing,” explains U.S. Ski Team Head Super G and Downhill Coach John McBride. With your back against the wall, lower yourself down until your legs form a 90-degree angle.
Try four sets of one-, two-, and three-
minute intervals twice a week. Increase
the duration of intervals as you gain strength.
2. Eccentric Loading: Walk Downhill
Fill a backpack with 20 to 30 pounds (9 to 13 kilograms) and walk or jog downhill to simulate skiing’s eccentric loading (i.e., lengthening quadricep muscles as you lower into a squatlike position). “This is
the closest specific exercise you can do
to skiing,” says McBride. “You’re moving both forward and laterally with increased
force.” Start with 30 minutes of downhill hiking once a week. For more of these ski tips from Bodi Miller click here
3. The Plank:
This helps with super core strength. This is a great stabilization exercise which predominantly improves abdominal and lower back muscular endurance which are important factors in skiing. Simply hold the position (be a plank, hips not too low or too high) for a maximum time then rest and repeat 3 times. When you can reach 1 minute add some sort of weight – wear a weight vest, a pint of milk on your back( with lid on) or a small person.
4. Ski Squat
The Benefit: “The Ski Squat approximates your leg motion when skiing moguls or riding rough terrain,” Knowles says. “It creates the same burn too.”
How-To: Stand on one leg in a ski-boot stance (leaning forward slightly), and place the opposite foot onto a chair or bench behind you. Squat down to 90 degrees without letting the standing knee sway. Do three sets of 12 reps on each side. To increase difficulty, hold a dumbbell or free-weight plate.
The Benefit: “This exercise strengthens the hamstrings to protect against knee injuries. By keeping your hips off the floor, you also strengthen the core.”
How-To: Lie on your back and place both heels on top of a physio ball, keeping your arms at your sides for balance. Lift your hips off the ground and roll the ball toward you until the bottoms of your feet are flat on the ball’s surface. Roll back to the starting position. Do three sets of 15 to 25 reps.
#4&5 images and exercises from www.nationalgeographic.com