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Getting fit for the season

HikenSki

Certified Ski Diva
#1
Hello ladies! Hope you all are as excited as I am about upcoming season. I wanted to find out if any of you have suggestions on what works well to strengthen your legs and core for the slopes. I know that skiing uses muscles differently and I want to be sure I am working out correctly to be a stronger, more flexible skier this season. I'm a 4-5x a week runner and do strength training (squats, lunges, single leg squats, lateral squat walk, side leg lifts and clamshells, glut bridge thrusts, and planks). I found the single leg squats helped immensely last year if I got off balance and was on one ski.

Any suggestions about things I should add? We have a gym across the hall from my work that has treadmills, bikes, ellipticals, and a bunch of weight machines. Do any of you lift weights? I think I drop my arms later in the day because they are tired of holding the poles...
 

VickiK

Angel Diva
#2
Sounds like you have the strength work covered. Maybe add hip mobility to your routine?
 

TeleChica

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#3
I do a combination of weights, body weight exercises, and machines, and definitely include my upper body. I focus on shoulders and lats--helps with backcountry skiing, plus I don't think it's good to leave out upper body work--creates weakness in one part of the body.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#5
I'm a 4-5x a week runner and do strength training (squats, lunges, single leg squats, lateral squat walk, side leg lifts and clamshells, glut bridge thrusts, and planks). I found the single leg squats helped immensely last year if I got off balance and was on one ski.

Any suggestions about things I should add?
Sounds like you have leg strength and cardio pretty well covered. Keep in mind that it's best to have a balance between hamstring and quad strength. Learned that when doing knee rehab (not a skiing injury).

I use the TRX for core strength. Essentially any exercise with the TRX works the core. I have several in my ski fitness blog.

http://over50skifitness.blogspot.com/search/label/TRX

How much do you do planks? Lots of variations. Regular plank (elbows or hands), side plank, plank with BOSU, etc.

Mat pilates can be good too.

Have posted this video before but it's a favorite. Can you guess how old the woman is who does the demonstration? She's an instructor at Vail who also teaches pilates.
 

HikenSki

Certified Ski Diva
#6
I do a combination of weights, body weight exercises, and machines, and definitely include my upper body. I focus on shoulders and lats--helps with backcountry skiing, plus I don't think it's good to leave out upper body work--creates weakness in one part of the body.
Agree, I need to add more upper body. I do a few different arms weights but not as consistently as I should. :tongue:
 

HikenSki

Certified Ski Diva
#7
One thing I’ve been doing lately that I’ve been loving is body weight squats on a bosu ball. It helps with core stability and balance. I do these with the ball side down. I also do glute bridges with my feet on the bosu ball
I've heard great things about the Bosu ball. I think there is one in our fitness center... Now, whether or not it is properly inflated is another question. LOL
 

HikenSki

Certified Ski Diva
#8
Sounds like you have leg strength and cardio pretty well covered. Keep in mind that it's best to have a balance between hamstring and quad strength. Learned that when doing knee rehab (not a skiing injury).

I use the TRX for core strength. Essentially any exercise with the TRX works the core. I have several in my ski fitness blog.

http://over50skifitness.blogspot.com/search/label/TRX

How much do you do planks? Lots of variations. Regular plank (elbows or hands), side plank, plank with BOSU, etc.

Mat pilates can be good too.

Have posted this video before but it's a favorite. Can you guess how old the woman is who does the demonstration? She's an instructor at Vail who also teaches pilates.
Wow, thanks for the links. I have very strong quads but weak hams/gluts, something I've been dealing with over the years running. I do the straight plank and really should add in the side plank for additional core stability. I always manage to get sore lower back muscles skiing so I know my core needs work. Fun times!
 
#10
Lots of good advice again! Some exercises to consider:
- push-up variations (normal, tricep, diamond, spiderman push-ups)
- normal and sideway plank (one thing to try is when in plank, go back and forth between elbow plank and getting up on your hands into a push-up stance)
- sideway plank starting with one arm extended and one elbow on the floor, rotating the extended arm under your body and back up again into the original position (good for core + arms and stability!)
- mountain climbers (on a bosu if you have access to one)
- cobra pose (yoga) for lower back
- tricep dips
- clean and press with a barbell (better to start off with a lighter barbell and more repetition than the other way around)
- reverse plank

I worked in a gym for close to 3 years while studying - one thing we noticed in general is a lot of people try to do a certain exercise with too much weight/too fast. Don't do that! It's better to do something slowly and deliberately with lower weight but good posture than to risk injury. One of our best trainers also made a habit out of mentally 'feeling' target muscles before starting a certain exercise. It helps to really focus on the right posture and motion in my opinion.

Also - be careful with regular crunches. This is still a wildly popular exercise but it puts a lot of strain on the lower vertebrae. Maybe try reverse crunches instead.
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
#12
I forgot one of the mothers of all exercises - burpees!!!
No, just no!! Absolutely hate those!! I've doing lot of different things with my trainer. I've gotten to like the weighted sled. Power in the legs. We do a lot of core exercises as her title at the gym is core Queen. Too many different ones to list. We just finished week 7 and I feel great for 61!
 

HikenSki

Certified Ski Diva
#14
@Belgiangirl Thanks for the recommendations! Definitely heard of some of those and have tried a few of them before. I think strengthening my core will allow me to be more flexible and better able to handle bumpy chopped snow. I think I ski too rigid in my legs.
 
#15
- normal and sideway plank (one thing to try is when in plank, go back and forth between elbow plank and getting up on your hands into a push-up stance)
- sideway plank starting with one arm extended and one elbow on the floor, rotating the extended arm under your body and back up again into the original position (good for core + arms and stability!)
The static sideplank and the push-up with rotation are both part of the standard 7-min HIIT routine. I've done the moving plank (elbow up and down) with my personal trainer. We were focusing on core strength and basic weight lifting for bone building purposes this fall.

For me, cardio is a lower priority as a 60+ advanced skier who isn't interested in uphill travel on skis. If I do a hike on resort, it's rarely more than 15 min. I've had a few seasons where ski conditioning during pre-season wasn't happening much. Still worked on 1-leg balance and flexibility, even if didn't take time for anything else.

A favorite flexibility video by a chiropractor in the UK.
 

MI-skier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#17
Lots of good advice again! Some exercises to consider:
- push-up variations (normal, tricep, diamond, spiderman push-ups)
- normal and sideway plank (one thing to try is when in plank, go back and forth between elbow plank and getting up on your hands into a push-up stance)
- sideway plank starting with one arm extended and one elbow on the floor, rotating the extended arm under your body and back up again into the original position (good for core + arms and stability!)
- mountain climbers (on a bosu if you have access to one)
- cobra pose (yoga) for lower back
- tricep dips
- clean and press with a barbell (better to start off with a lighter barbell and more repetition than the other way around)
- reverse plank

I worked in a gym for close to 3 years while studying - one thing we noticed in general is a lot of people try to do a certain exercise with too much weight/too fast. Don't do that! It's better to do something slowly and deliberately with lower weight but good posture than to risk injury. One of our best trainers also made a habit out of mentally 'feeling' target muscles before starting a certain exercise. It helps to really focus on the right posture and motion in my opinion.

Also - be careful with regular crunches. This is still a wildly popular exercise but it puts a lot of strain on the lower vertebrae. Maybe try reverse crunches instead.
I agree 100%. Crunches are terrible for the spine. I'm a chiropractor and it kills me to see people doing them. Too much too soon is what gets people in trouble along with crappy form. Always watch yourself in a mirror.
 

tinymoose

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#19
I agree 100%. Crunches are terrible for the spine. I'm a chiropractor and it kills me to see people doing them. Too much too soon is what gets people in trouble along with crappy form. Always watch yourself in a mirror.
We always did V-Sits in gymnastics so I still tend to go for those today. I feel like they're a better workout anyhow.
 
#20
Wow, thanks for the links. I have very strong quads but weak hams/gluts, something I've been dealing with over the years running. I do the straight plank and really should add in the side plank for additional core stability. I always manage to get sore lower back muscles skiing so I know my core needs work. Fun times!
I found a progression for hamstrings using a stability ball that I stuck in my fitness blog. During knee rehab PT I started with #1. The explanations are useful as he demonstrates the different variations.

Stability Ball Hamstring Curl Progression:
1 (Easiest). 2 Legged
2. 2 Legs on Up (concentric), 1 Leg on Down (eccentric); no alternating
3. 2 Legs on Up (concentric), 1 Leg on Down (eccentric); alternating
4 (Hardest). Single Leg

 

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