The site uses its own technical cookies, anonymous third party analytic cookies and third-party cookies that could be used in profiling: in accessing any element/area of the site outside of this banner, you consent to receiving cookies. If you want to know more or refuse consent to cookies, click here.
OK

Ski-inspired home fitness programs

Massimo Massarini, Sports Doctor, Vitalia Progetti Salute
Modern skiing is a strength sport. You may like this statement or not, but this is the reality. Strength underpins everything we do, and skiing is no exception. Why not using some basic principles of ski training to do some home exercises during this period? Carving skis through the well-groomed slopes attracts everybody to ski fast. Speeds that just few years ago were topped by professionals can now be achieved by many.

For sure this new skiing is fun, exciting and causes an adrenaline rush but let us not forget it still requires good level of strength alongside cardiovascular fitness.

The actual ski technique is about managing centrifugal forces, against which the skier must resist in order to hold the line and carve the curve. The upper body is key to counterbalance the forces driven by the lower body muscles, mainly from thighs and glutes. Every movement passes through the body’s center of gravity (COG) which is located approximately at the belly.

The COG can be considered as the link between the upper and the lower body. In other words, each movement must be strong and controlled to create the efficacy of the movement, which all originate from this COG. That’s why the waist area, otherwise known as the Core, must be trained to manage the forces transmitted by the kinetic chain of the body muscles.

 5 exercises to train the ‘core’

Why not using some basic principles of ski training to do some home exercises during this period? A top skier like Peter Fill has to face strong dynamic forces when carving on snow which can inspire confidence in “holding the edge”.

These 5 simple exercises allow you to train your core muscles safely and effectively. At the same time they can give you an idea of your condition in terms of core stability: if you are not able to execute an exercise properly it is a sign that your core is not properly trained; you have some weakness that should be identified and compensated.

1. Trunk Extension

Stretch out prone with your arms along your hips and legs outstretched. Contract the lumbar region, lift the chest and shoulders a few inches off the ground, while lifting the legs as well. If you want to increase the intensity of the exercise, do it with your arms outstretched forward. Hold the position for 10 seconds.

  • Perform 5 reps.

2. Lumbar muscle stretching

With your knees resting on the ground, wear your gluteal muscles on your heels. Move your hands forward, arms outstretched in front of you. Relax your torso on your thighs, with your forehead resting on the ground. Perform slow and controlled breathing trying to inflate the belly during the inhalation phase.

  • Hold this position for 1 minute to stretch your lumbar muscles.

3. Bridge

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet resting on the width of your pelvis. Bring your arms along your hips and bend your legs. Bringing your arms along your hips bend your legs. Push the pelvis up and contract the glutes while avoiding loading the body weight on the neck. Execute the exercise dynamically but very slowly. Once reached the upper position hold statically for 3 seconds before coming back to the starting position (glutes on the floor).

  • Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.

4. Alternate Arm Leg Raise

In a quadruped position with hands in line with shoulders and knees bent at 90°. Your back is straight and your pelvis is aligned. Extend one arm forward by bringing the shoulder closer to the ear and at the same time, stretch the opposite leg behind you to the level of the pelvis. Return to the starting position and repeat the movement with the opposite leg and arm.Once the position is reached maintain a perfect alignment between the extended arm and leg. Hold 5 seconds before coming back to the starting position (quadruped).

  • Perform 5 reps for each side.

5. Plank

Lie on your back with your elbows under your shoulders and your legs outstretched. Lift your torso to form a straight line from shoulders to ankles. Tighten the abdominals and contract the buttocks while holding the position.

It is important to execute the exercise correctly. Maintain a perfect alignment between shoulder and glutes; the lumbar spine needs to be straight and the pelvis should not drop. If you lose control of the position and your pelvis drops down stop the exercise and rest for a while. Hold the position for 15 seconds.

  • Perform 5 reps.

Do not forget basic aerobic conditioning

Even for those practicing alpine ski it is important to have a basic aerobic conditioning. Even if alpine ski is not and aerobic sport (differently from nordik ski) having a good aerobic resistance is fundamental to sustain either long training sessions and to obtain great performances when slopes durations are longer than one minute. Starting a program with 30 minutes of aerobic conditioning constitute a good start for the both athletes and general passionate skiers. The choice depends on personal preferences. If you are lucky enough to have an aerobic machine at home you could choose a treadmill, a bike, an elliptical or a mix between two or three cardio machines.

Obviously, the most consistent part of the training session will be devoted to strength training with the aim of developing maximal strength and explosive power using barbell, dumbbells or isotonic machines. A valid and innovative solution is that of using  Technogym Skillrun or  Skillbike, these ‘aerobic machines’  feature  an innovative modality that is very close to alpine ski needs. These machines, thanks to their innovative ‘passive’ functions can be used to execute high intensity strength training sessions involving the lower body kinetic chain involved in ski in a very functional way.

/related post

Ironman: train on Skill Line and discover your nutrition system

Carbohydrates and glycogen reserves are useful to eat before a ironman competition. General belief i...