• Paul Tighe

Ski Season & Training

Updated: Dec 20, 2020

Let's save time...This blog post is for those of you that are not sure where to start when it comes to dryland (gym) training for skiing. Here is a very basic overview of some simple tips. The first thing you need to consider is, less is more and the basics are fundamental. Most of us can get excited when the snow starts to hit the mountains. The fresh fall is a call to arms for ski pros and enthusiasts alike. Some let the season creep up and jump straight into it without a care in the world, others, prep and plan. For those that are the latter, planning and prep work best when tailored by those with experience. As they say, practice makes permanent, if your practice is consistently poor, performance will follow suit.

The basics : So why is it a good idea to carry out a training program before and during ski season? It is important because you need to ensure that you have the strength to take turns at speed, absorb the forces you experience during these turns and when landing or going over moguls. Exercises like the Back Squat and Deadlift should be a staple of any good skiing program. Flexibility and balance are often forgotten, however, they both play an integral part of any good fitness program.

Flexibility and balance training, often abandoned but so simple to integrate and a key performance indicator for skiing. If you struggle to incorporate these into your sessions, you are not alone. We need to make time. It could be as simple as adding 5 minutes of mobility to your warm up and cool down, as well as, including single leg exercises into your session. If you don't have the mobility and balance to get into a low position coupled with the strength to maintain it... your skiing performance will suffer.

All the above is great, however if we want to sustain these demands we need to have a strong aerobic capacity. After all, everyone wants to perform to their best and maintain it. Although we wish we could build our capacity by simply skiing, it is not always possible. During the months of bare mountains think about adding in slow easy runs, if you are not a runner why not swim, or attack the mountain from the bottom up... get on a bike. Slow and steady will help build that capacity and as you get close to the season consider mixing in faster and shorter stints of cardiovascular exercise.

Less is more : When planning for the season we need to think about volume and intensity. Too much of either can lead to a decrease in performance, or worse, an injury. Like all good programs volume will be your base. You need to build your capacity before building intensity. However, don't go from zero to hero. You need to consider your training age. history, availability and more!

As the season gets closer you can make a shift. Decrease your capacity work and increase your intensity. In other words the reps go down and the load goes up. Ensure adequate recovery between sessions, a day on the slopes counts as a workout and don't forget... less is more.

Strength, aerobic capacity, balance and mobility play a key role in any sport, this includes skiing. The next time you are dreaming of fresh powder, think about getting a head start on your preparation. Make the most of the snow by performing at your best. Build your base, then mix in an increase in intensity and if you need help, you know where to find us :)

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