To actively participate in skiing, it’s imperative to be ready with more than a lift ticket and the season’s latest gear. A physically prepared body will save its own butt over and over, managing and recovering from an infinite variety of terrain and snow conditions. Strength is important not only for your ability to recover, but also to truly feel the essence of skiing – speed, power, energy and rebound from arc to arc. With more strength comes confidence, and you’ll find yourself pursuing clean, powerful turns every run.
Equipment needed: box/chair, two heavy objects of equal weight
Optional equipment: dumbbells, stopwatch
Rounds: Complete three rounds of entire circuit of 7 exercises. Start with a 400-metre run and end each round with a 400-metre run, for a total of 1600-metres.
Rest time: Transition from exercise to exercise efficiently, taking only as much rest as you need to perform the exercises with proper form (30 to 60 seconds). After each 400-metre run, take a water break and catch your breath (2 minutes).
Workout time: 60 minutes
WARM UP: 10 minutes
#1. 400-METRE RUN
RUN FAST: You shouldn’t be able to hold a conversation! If you don’t have a way to measure the distance, you can run for a certain length of time instead. Choose from the approximate times below.
Intermediate/Advanced 1:15 to 1:45 minutes
Beginner/Intermediate 1:45 to 2:30 minutes
#2. SINGLE LEG BOX SQUATS: 15 REPS EACH LEG
Sit down on a box or chair and check that your knee joint sits at approximately 90 degrees or higher. Stand and face away from the box. Make sure to check your distance so you don’t miss the seat when you sit! Engage your core, lift one leg off the ground and slowly lower yourself down. Control the eccentric, down-phase of the movement. Sit down on the box but maintain muscle tension. Stand up again using as little momentum as you can – make your leg do the work! Focus on a smooth movement.
Step 1: Sit down using both legs, come up on one leg.
Step 2: Sit down using one leg, come up on two.
#3. PLANK SKI JUMPS: 30 REPS
Start in high plank position and pull your belly button firmly toward your spine. Tighten your glutes and squeeze your legs together tightly. Hop your feet outside of your right arm, maintaining the muscle tension in your core. Hop back to plank position and repeat on the other side.
Complete the movement by stepping instead of jumping. Step your right foot to the right side, followed by your left foot.
#4. REVERSE CROSSOVER LUNGES: 30 REPS
Start standing tall, holding a dumbbell. Take a step, crossing one leg behind the other. Plant the toe of the rear foot and squat down until your front leg is at 90 degrees. Keep the knee stacked over the ankle to minimize torque on the knee joint. Lower down slowly, driving up with more energy to standing position. Alternate sides.
If you feel any joint discomfort, decrease your range of motion or try taking a smaller step with the rear foot.
#5. LATERAL JUMPS: 20 REPS
Jump from side to side, picking your knees up high each time. Jump over a line or any object you like. Bend your knees to land as softly as possible in a high squat position.
#6. SINGLE LEG DEADLIFTS: 15 REPS EACH SIDE
Stand on your left leg, holding a dumbbell in your left hand. Lift your right foot off the ground and slowly bend at the waist, pushing your hips back until your feel a stretch in the back of your legs. Extend your right hand out to the side for balance, using a wall or railing if needed. Keep your back straight and hips square. Firmly ground your toes and heel to the floor, squeeze your left glute, pull your shoulders back and rise back up to standing, lowering your back leg at the same time. Keep your back and lifted leg aligned so that as you lower your chest, your leg follows suit.
Complete the exercise with no weight. Before adding weight, work to improve your balance.
#7. HEAVY FARMER CARRY: 50 METRES
Use dumbbells or any heavy objects of equal weight. Tighten your core, inhale and squat down to pick up your objects, and rise to standing as you exhale. Keeping core tight and locked, with your shoulders back and chest up, walk with control for 50 metres. Using unstable objects will further challenge your core stabilizer muscles. Try gas cans filled three-quarters full with water or heavy medicine balls on a carry rope.
#8. TUCK WALK: 50 METRES
Get into your best aerodynamic tuck position. Staying low the entire time, step forward slowly, deliberately planting heel-to-toe to travel 50 metres. Keep muscle tension in the lower body as well as the arms, shoulders and core.
– By Claire Challen. Photography by Chris Duncan – synergyarts.ca
(As seen in S-Magazine, Issue 42 October 2017. PDF download click here: SkiFit_S-Mag(Oct2017)