Are You Sure You’re Ready to Hit the Slopes?
Every winter I look forward to our annual ski trip. For a few days I trade in my usual exercise routine and enjoy crisp winter weather in the mountains. Skiing is wonderful cardiovascular exercise. It requires cardiovascular endurance, core and leg strength as well as balance. It is not uncommon for a recreational skier to pass on pre season training, but that does not mean you should forgo the preparation for your mountain trip.
There are three types of cardiovascular fitness to train for when preparing for ski season. The first is being basic aerobic shape. This can be achieved by steady state cardio exercises, like running, cycling, walking or swimming. The second type of cardiovascular fitness to train is our high lactate threshold. We achieve this with cardio intervals. The last layer of cardio to master is your lactate power. These are the explosive cardiovascular exercises like plyometric training. A great way to achieve lactate power is through Tabata style exercise.
On the slopes we deal with all kinds of unpredictable terrain, when our bodies are trained to deal with uneven surfaces we can reduce injury and better our ability to tackle those black diamonds. Core strength is key, especially when paired with balance work. We want to mimic some of the motions on the slope and practice working on one leg or an uneven surface. A Bosu ball is a great tool when strengthening the proprioceptive muscles in our legs.
Last but certainly not least is flexibility. When our muscles, ligaments and tendons are tense, we are much more likely to be injured when we take those inevitable falls. An injury is the last thing we want during the holiday season. Time off from an exercise routine coupled holiday meals could be a major set back.
Below is an overview of a training schedule you could expect to see prescribed during ski season:
- Aerobic Base: Steady state cardio for 20-90 minutes 2-3 times per week.
- High Lactate Threshold: Cardio intervals 2 times per week.
- Lactate Power: Tabata style plyometric workout 1-2 times per week.
- Strength and Flexibility Training: Circuit training to work core, legs and balance as well as exercise to increase flexibility 2 times per week.
Above all else, make sure you are in decent training shape before hitting the slopes to avoid unnecessary injuries. And remember, as we get older our bodies need longer to warm up out there so start of easy. If you need a customized workout for hitting the slopes this season be it snowboarding or skiing, make sure to give us a call. Storm Fitness has exceptional trainers that specialize in winter sport program development.