Top 10 tips for Ski Fitness by Ben Mann,
Elite Personal Trainer at The Harbour Club in Notting Hill
1. The best cardiovascular exercise for complimentary muscle groups is cycling. Any cardio is great for preparing for higher altitudes and improving blood flow in general.
Stretch!! Pre-holiday, and pre and post skiing every day – especially for your legs, ankles, calf’s and whole body rotations for your core.
3. Squats are king for skiing with a progression toward squats jumps. Lunges are also very important - try walking lunges for building robust endurance in the legs for those long ski runs. Vibration training is also highly recommended along with traditional strength training. Once you have built strength then you can progress to dynamic and plyometric type movements with the legs.
4. Try jumping side to side over a line of rope or a hurdle, this will help you to get that fast side to side rhythm, balance and strength.
5. Try going backwards on a cross trainer, this will simulate skiing bumps and really gets those gluteal muscles moving!
6. Introduce twisting movements with upper and lower body isolation to your training sessions as when skiing the upper body, shoulders and chest should stay facing downhill as your legs twist separately beneath you.
7. A Strong core is an essential for preventing bending at the waist.... It's a bit like lifting heavy items... Protect the back by activating your core and using your legs! Learning to deadlift or developing good Olympic lifting technique will certainly help.
8. Swiss ball exercises, mat based abdominal work and Pilates are great for preventing back injuries. Look at adding some good core conditioning exercises to your sessions and progressing these through your training.
9. Work on your hamstring strength in the gym. If you do allot of skiing you’re likely to become quite quad dominant. Posterior chain exercises will help balance your body for optimal performance and injury prevention.
10. Nutrition. Keep an energy bar in your pocket - altitudes can do funny things in the first few days whilst you acclimatise - Eat properly and healthily with a hearty slow release breakfast to sustain until lunch. Limit or postpone apres ski alcohol consumption until you have at least one rest day to recover. Like any sport its best to prepare yourselves with sound nutritional principles.
Basically be as strong supple and as fit as possible!! If you are limited with time make sure at the very least you stretch!!!
Olympic Style Weight Lifting
Olympic weight lifting is often confused with Power lifting. Both types of weight lifting involve barbells, although the Olympic bar has ball bearings in it, this allows the bar to spin through the air during an Olympic type lift. Power lifters tend to compete wearing beanie hats and the various competitions usually consist of approximately 6 inch squats, deadlifts and bench press. Whilst this style of weight lifting can be helpful to sports people and athletes when prescribed correctly by an experienced strength and conditioning coach they tend to appeal to a relatively specialist gym population.
They are both competitive sports in their own right, but this article is aiming to focus on the benefits of Olympic style lifting for the intermediate to advanced gym user and sports person. Olympic weight lifting requires far greater levels of flexibility and in fact power. It would make sense to call power lifting competitions strength lifting competitions as they require greater levels of strength than they do power.
To throw an object above your own head requires a great deal of effort and power. Effectively it burns a huge amount of calories especially when repeated for multiple sets and reps. WARNING: IF YOU SUFFER FROM HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE YOU SHOULD CONSULT A DOCTOR BEFORE YOU ATTEMPT A WEIGHT LIFTING PROGRAM
The Olympic lifts are often the best way to improve an individual’s (and an athlete’s) power if it is lacking in their sporting performance. The Snatch lift for instance has direct correlation to jumping ability. This makes them a very important weapon for those undertaking athletic type training.
The two Olympic lifts, Clean and Jerk, and Snatch can be broken down into component parts for training benefits, ie cleans, clean and squat, clean pull, snatch pull etc. Plus the two deadlift forms they correspond to. Blocks or a hang position can be used in some cases, especially if an individual isn’t blessed with the best flexibility or has minor back injuries or a history of minor back pain.
When the loading is correct, almost anyone can master these lifts. I suggest the Vipr as one of the beginners option. Try the clean as a first step or as a warm up. Always seek the advice of the gym staff and personal trainers. If you have any questions relating to this article, or anything else gym or health and fitness related please don’t hesitate to ask.