SUMMERTIME SKI FITNESS
Tips from a pro: skiing is fun, so training should be too.
By Amie Engerbretson | June 6, 2017
Summertime is here, and winter is a sweet drifting memory in the rearview mirror. Legs are tired and feet are abused. What does it all mean? Time to totally veg and lay around till text winter? Wrong! Time to hit the gym and go as hard as possible all the way ’till the lifts spin again? Also, WRONG! One of the things that makes me love winter and ski season so much is that I don’t get it all the time. It’s a seasonal sport, and like the seasons, your body needs to go with the flow. Staying in shape and keeping your ski legs over the summer should reflect that!
Coming right out of the winter into spring, your body may feel a little beat down, maybe even a little neglected, mine sure does! I like to take that time to respect my body, give rest when needed and start ramping my way back into all my favorite summer activities. By the time the sun is high in the sky it’s time to kick it up even more and by the fall, I really make sure I am as strong as possible! For me, skiing is fun, so staying in shape for it should be as well! I try to not do any one thing too much but rather mix it up, keep in fresh and above all listen to my body. You can’t ski if you are hurt!
If you, like me, don’t want to lose your ski legs this summer, here are 7 things you can do to make sure that doesn’t happen:
1. Stretch! – Maybe you are into yoga, maybe not, but either way, make some time to stretch! Yoga is my key for springtime as I unwind from the winter and prep my body for the summer. It is important to lengthen your muscles and hone in on your body before you attempt to push it!
2. Trail Running – Cardio is key, we all know that and trail running is a great way to get a heart workout in while building/maintaining leg strength. I like to mix a little extra into my runs to pack a punch. Try trimming your runs down in length but add some intensity to them by building in intervals. Start small and work you way up to longer and harder intervals. By August, I like to make sure my trails runs include some hill intervals and some full sprints. Both are killer for the leg muscles! Note: always make sure you are warmed up first!
3. Bike – Whether you like it on the road or in the dirt, get in that saddle! It is true many skiers love to bike in the summer, which works out perfectly because it is great cross training. I prefer mountain biking myself. The strength and cardio you get from riding is great, but I also love the little bit of line selection practice I get on the downhill! One ski fitness tip on the bike, when you are climbing try pulling strength into your core and initiate your pedal stroke from your glute. This will give you extra strength to pull from and keep your skier bum alive and well
4. Core – Never forget your core! I know as skiers we focus a lot on the legs but I believe the core is just as important as it provides overall power, stability and support. Add the core workout below to your routine 3 times a week. This can be done anywhere, the gym, a patch of grass, your living room, anywhere.
1. 2 sets of 2 min planks. Try mixing it up by adding movements like tapping your hips to the ground alternating side to side, always keeping your core tight.
2. Walk ups from fore-arms to straight arms and back down. Two sets of 10 leading with each arm
3. Mountain climbers– in push up position, alternate pulling your knees into your check. Take it as fast as you want without getting sloppy. Add some cross body rotations, opposite knee to opposite elbow for added core. Two sets of 2 minutes!
5. Plyos – When it comes to strong legs for the ski season, I like to focus on explosive and dynamic strength. We will all do our fair share of lunges and squats, but I think plyometric movements are a great way to get my booty strong. Below is a fun plyo set that you can do on a box in the gym, on a park bench, really anywhere. Just make sure it is sturdy and can support your jumping weight! As I get closer to the skis season I add intensity to this workout by increasing the speed and number of rounds rather than number of reps.
1. Two Footed Squat Jumps – Jump from two feet on the ground up onto box landing on two feet in a 90-degree squat. Straighten you legs then step off the box, down to the ground. Alternate which foot you lead down with. Do 12 reps.
2. One Legged Dips – Stand with one foot on the box and the other hanging off the side, slowly squat down to 90-degress on you working leg then quickly, explosively, straighten your working let to starting position. Slow on the way down, fast of the way up. Make sure you knee stays inline with your toes. Do 12 reps each leg.
3. One Legged Step Up Jumps– Start with on leg on the box and the other on the ground. Weight your foot on the box then jump up off that foot driving your other leg up and forward into a right angle in front of your chest. Speed is key, go as fast as you can, 12 reps each side.
4. Repeat full round 3 times.
6. Try Something New– It is always important to keep your fitness routine fresh no matter what you are training for. If your mind is bored, your body probably is too. Trying new things helps you explore your strength and learn new things. I love to add barre and TRX classes to my routine. Both these workouts focus on stabilizer muscles and have a fun group workout atmosphere that motivates me no matter the day.
7. Enjoy – Keep it fun! There are many ways to work out that are completely enjoyable. Staying fit for skiing doesn’t need to be a grind (unless maybe an Olympic medal is on your horizon). Whether it’s a hike with your friends or a surf session behind the boat, make sure to enjoy yourself and soak up summer. I think the more you are full or summer, the more you will crave winter and be psyched when it is upon us again. Remember, skiing is fun so training for it should be too. 1 Comment (Warren Miller website)
Blue Knob Ski and Ride School
Having fun in the summer can help “make winter more fun”. Here’s some good tips from one professional skier to help keep your body fit for when ski and snowboard comes around again. And when it does, go with a pro instructor to tune up your technique and learn some tactics for whatever challenge the mountain offers. Guaranteed, you’ll have more fun.