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With the smooth white mountain tops of the Wasatch clearly within view, the excitement for skiing is so thick you can practically taste it. Like the sweet smell of brewing coffee hanging in the air, the anticipation builds as we all wait to fill our cups. Due to some much needed recent storms, the northern Utah mountains all have fresh white caps, and the enthusiasm among powder hounds has been re-energized.
With all this buzz, it seems that those small mental notes we left ourselves to get in shape before winter have all become mental flashing billboards as opening day looms large on the calendar. The faint memory of walking around like zombies after last year’s first day still haunting, it’s time to make some quick preparations. It’s not necessary to join a gym to obtain tip top ski form but if it will motivate your fitness plan, then by all means, do it!
When thinking about a ski workout plan, it’s important to understand the most-used muscle groups and what their purposes are. The last thing anyone wants is to try and make some beautiful turns and end up injured because of a lack of preparation.
According to Dr. Cameron Garber, a doctor of physical therapy at Body Smart Physical Therapy in South Ogden, There are some definite precautions to consider.“The most common mistake I see with skiers is the “first run of the day” or “last run of the day,” especially in the early season. Nearly every patient that comes in with an injury reports that it happened during one of those times.” said Garber.
He says that quite often, decisions about the first and last runs of the day are made on excitement and peer pressure. The first run problems come from choosing a run that is too challenging or unfamiliar. Skiers get in over their head and typically aren’t in skiing shape. The terrain is too technical for “out-of-date” coordination and strength. The next thing you know, yard sale and injury!
Last run injuries come because of a different problem, fatigue. Usually, if you’re deciding whether or not to take one more run, it is because you aren’t sure if your tired legs can take one more time down the hill. If you’re debating that with yourself, it’s best to hold off. Don’t let that last run ruin the rest of your season. Live to ski another day.So how do you take that first run with confidence? According to Garber, you just need to prepare prior to heading up to the slopes. The program outlined below addresses several different muscle groups and what types of workouts will be most beneficial to helping with those groups.
The following exercises can be done from home with some simple gear like running shoes or a bicycle. This six-day training plan is a quick way to jump into a workout routine that can be utilized by beginners or advanced skiers. For beginners, start by only rotating through a few of the activities during the first few weeks and building to more the longer you stay on the program. For those with more of a fitness base, you may want to do some longer workouts with just a few items on each day’s list, or take on all of them in limited amounts. It’s always recommended to listen carefully to any painful areas during the first weeks of any new workout routine. The risk of injury is high until you can build a base of fitness. Most of us can discern the difference between an acute injury and sore muscles that result from working out. Remember though, the goal isn’t to get sore. If your workout today ruins your workout tomorrow, then today was wasted. Keep it light enough that you can do something every day. You’ll progress faster and burn a lot more calories than one intense session every few days. We’ve still got some time to get in shape; don’t try to do it all in one day! Here are the workout plans for each day with the seventh day to use as a recovery day to prepare your muscles for the following week. Remember, anything you do is better than nothing. Take these workouts as suggestions and listen to your body for cues on how much you can handle.
Pick your favorite five to six exercises and give about one minute between sets to build endurance.
While doing your cardio spend 80% of your time at moderate intensity and 20% at maximal intensity. Minutes 0-8 at: 4-5 out of 10 level of effort Minutes 8-10 at: 8-10 out of 10 level of effort Minutes 10-18 at: 4-5 out of 10 level of effort Minutes 18-20 at: 8-10 out of 10 level of effort
Perform each of these exercises once for 40 seconds, getting as many repetitions as possible with a 20 second rest between each exercise. Then repeat the circuit 3 to 5 times or for 60 to 75 minutes depending on your time and level of fitness. You may have to group some of the exercises into mini-circuits depending on your setup to be able to maintain your heart rate as you transition from exercise to exercise.
This six-day plan is quite comprehensive and may seem a little daunting. If a more “bare bones” approach is what you prefer, Garber offers this suggestion. “If I was going to only do one exercise to get ready for the ski season, it would probably be 4 way treadmill hiking,” he said.
This exercise hits all of the major muscle groups in the legs and hips and is great for coordination. To perform this, crank your treadmill ramp as high as it will go. Most people will be able to walk at 0.7-1.5 mph depending on their fitness and coordination level and the steepness of their treadmill.
Start by walking straight uphill for 1 minute, then turn. Continue by walking sideways for 1 minute with a slight squat, then walk backward for 1 minute, and turn to the next side. At the end of the 4th minute turn back to forward walking and start the process over again. Performing 2 to 3 sets of this is a great way to build strength in all directions. Deepen your squat, progress to forward, reverse or side lunges, or add a resistance band around your ankles to make this more difficult as you get stronger. Improving your strength and coordination to move in all directions will help keep you safe and ready to go for ski season.
Above all else, listen to your aching muscles and make sure to not over exert yourself on any exercise. That way, your season is more likely to be long and fruitful. Good luck with your training, and pray for snow!!
Don’t forget that we have the closest Snowbasin Lodging, come stay with us for an amazing ski vacation! Once you visit, you won’t want to leave. Live here with Homes for Sale in Huntsville, Utah or Eden, Utah Real Estate. There’s no such thing as a bad day in the mountains, let us be your guide.