Jackie Wright: Get ready for alpine and Nordic ski season
Grand County, CO Colorado
(First in a four-part series)
With one or two downhill ski resorts already open and dozens of alpine/Nordic ski resorts/trails opening within the next four to six weeks, it is time to get your body into ski-ready condition to ensure a safe and fun ski season.
Over the next four weeks, we will highlight general alpine/Nordic skiing physical fitness preparation tips followed by a comprehensive alpine/Nordic skiing preparation exercise program.
As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
Nordic/Alpine Skiing Physical Fitness Preparation Tips
• Get fit before you attempt to ski!
• If you are an experienced recreational skier, begin preparation four-six weeks prior to your first run. If you are an inexperienced or novice skier, begin preparation 8-12 weeks prior to your first run.
• If you are a beginner/novice level skier, either sign-up for ski school or hire a professional ski instructor and learn the basics, before attempting this activity.
• A comprehensive preparation program design would include all five general physical fitness components (i.e. cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength/endurance, flexibility and body composition).
• The program would also be based upon an adequate frequency, intensity, type and time of exercise to help you reach your ski-preparation goals.
• The program would need to include conditioning specifically targeting the physical demands of skiing.
• Therefore, skills/drills specific to skiing would be an integral part of the program. This would include agility, improved reaction time, balance, stability and mobility.
• Additionally, anaerobic intervals which focus upon anaerobic power (i.e. strength and speed combined) and aerobic intervals which focus upon both sustainable aerobic power and steady state training should be included. Steady state training needs to be the foundation of the cardiovascular endurance training prior to beginning intensive anaerobic exertion interval training.
• Significant concentration on core training (i.e. inner and outer core units) will enhance all other training. The more stable and strong your core units are the more stable and strong the rest of your body will be.
• Have your certified/qualified personal trainer, group exercise instructor or physical therapist teach you how to perform myofascial release with a foam roller. Perform myofascial release exercises prior to your flexibility training for the best results.
• Flexibility training is often the forgotten physical fitness component. Flexibility is the range of motion about each joint and it is joint specific. Therefore, you may be quite flexible in one joint and inflexible in another. Spend time daily focused upon improving your range of motion about the joints, particularly those that are the most inflexible (i.e. always warm-up first).
• Stick to your physical fitness and skiing skill levels. Don’t get talked into skiing runs that are clearly beyond your skill level. If you would like to pursue more difficult runs, perhaps taking another ski lesson geared toward safely and effectively improving your skill level first, will help you to “catch” up with your skiing mates without the threat of injury. Plus, it will be a lot more fun!
Next week, we will feature the beginning segment of the ski-preparation exercise program.
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness, LLC located in Grand Lake, Colorado. She can be reached at her website at http://www.neversummerfitness.com, her email at NSFGL@comcast.net and her blog at http://www.skyhidailynews.
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