Winter storm Atlas is dumping snow in the plain states and the snow is flying in small amounts out West. So ski season is getting close and it is time to start preparing for ski season. How do you approach this? I prepare for ski season all year but as we enter into this time of the year my approach changes.
Preparing for Ski Season — Fading Light
As you may know I love to ride bicycle, I have 2,000+ miles this year in the books and am hoping to get another 200 to 400 miles in. I took up bicycling in a big way due to my love of skiing! I wanted a knee friendly way to burn lots of calories. In addition the biking is building up my quadriceps and hamstrings, so much so my wife thought I had some pathological swelling going on!
However, I do bike in the dark and even a short ride after work takes me into the night (forget about it when we come off of daylight saving’s time), so I switch to gym based workouts. Ski Magazine provides some good ideas and searching around the Internet helps too. I was going to mention an excellent site for this but the site seems to have gone 100% behind a paywall so I will not mention that site.
Preparing for Ski Season — The Gym Routine
- Cardiovascular focus — Phase I
- Weights — Phase II
- Body Weight Exercises — Phase III
- Stretching and Balance — Phase IV
I kick off my session by spending 30-35 minutes doing a cardiovascular workout. Day 1 I am on a stationary bicycle, day 2 I am on an elliptical machine, and day 3 has me on the rower.
After I complete my cardiovascular workout I then start working the weights. I used to work on weight machines but I rarely use them any more. I hit the squat rack, move to the bench press, and then I spend time with dumbbells.
Then phase 2 of the workout is body-weight exercises. situps, pushups, captain’s chair leg raisers, box jumps, bosu ball squats (I hold tight tuck and mid tuck ski postures on a bosu ball for 30 seconds each) and the one machine I do use (yet) the assisted dips and chin ups.
The the last phase of my workout is stretching and balance exercises. I lay down and stretch my hips out and when I complete that I balance on a single leg for 30 seconds. Both left and right legs get that and after the 30 seconds I break into the warrior III pose (or something that is close) and hold that, again I do this after both legs.
I try to repeat phases II, III, and IV at least twice but aim for three rounds and I also move quickly from one exercise to the next. The aim is to keep the heart and lungs working throughout the whole exercise. I do not aim for large weights but I strive for repetitions (usually 10-20 per station) and good form.
As the season progresses I add in more exercises. In addition, sometimes I will opt for the swimming pool instead and swim for an hour to an hour and a half. This year I hope to take spinning and yoga classes. In previous years I would not ski much on a given trip, I would go in and take frequent breaks (meaning more beer) and go back out. Last season I skied like crazy and at the end of the year it paid off when skiing chair to chair, plus I had the overall physical fitness to avoid a few wipeouts (entire body strength is there to pull back an errant ski).
Preparing for Ski Season — What do You do?
How do you approach your physical readiness to ski or snowboard? Do you figure you will ski into shape or do you visit the gym like I do and how does your routine go?
Now go and get ready for ski season 2013-2014!