Training

Ski Training Considerations


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World class skiing isn’t normally what one thinks when they picture Orange County, so it may seem odd for me to be writing this article. Despite the beach culture normally associated with my hometown, the other morning I was sitting in my office at Juggernaut, talking with my good friend Adam and to say that he is pumped about the upcoming ski season, would be an understatement. Adam was a multiple time All-American and US National Team water polo player and for many years has been an avid skier. Now we aren’t talking about some bunny hill BS here, or even black diamond stuff, Adam is into serious back-country, off the beaten path, freestyle skiing, or as Adam would say, “shredding gnar pow on the reg.” If you still can’t picture it, this is what I’m talking about…

Now obviously that takes some athleticism, to perform those maneuvers, at those speeds takes great physical abilities, as well as titanium balls. Someone must posses lower body strength (bilateral and unilateral, maximal strength, reactive/elastic abilities, yielding and isometric strength), tremendous abdominal strength, particularly anti-rotational/flexion/extension abilities to facilitate such great body control in the air and during aggressive turning moves, and general upper body strength is needed for postural strength and creating forces with your poles. Also a full spectrum of energy systems are required to excel in such an endeavor. Alactic power is required to execute high amplitude jumps, alactic capacity must be present to perform repeated explosive outputs throughout the course of a run, tremendous aerobic capacity is required to be able to perform at a high level on multiple runs throughout the day and most apparent is the need for high lactic capacity as athlete’s will spend minutes at a time in a partial squat position.

The development of a training program specific to the demands of a skier, or any athlete for that matter, must examine the  improvement of general, general specific and specific training means. If you don’t know what I mean by that, take some time to read my colleague James Smith’s article “The Classification of the Means.” There are many coaches who try to approximate sports movements in an effort to create “sports specific” training, but in doing this they often neglect either the amplitude or direction of the sport skill, and instead just create an asinine, technical ability destroying, accident waiting to happen. These are the type of exercises I’m referring to…

 

Exercises such as these do not enhance a skier’s ability on the mountain, they are circus tricks. For the skier to improve the must improve their general abilities through strength training (bilateral/unilateral squat variations, arm extensors, arm flexors, back/hip extensions), reactive/elastic abilities through jumping/throwing/sprinting, specific energy systems through circuits with special exercises that approximate the skills needed on the mountain without too closely mimicking them thus detracting from technical development and the durability of their ankles/knees/hips through prehab, mobility and flexibility drills. Here is a 4 week training plan I outlined for Adam in preparation for the quickly approaching ski season…

Ski Training Plan

Day 1-Intensive/Alactic Capacity

            -General Warmup

            -Knee/Ankle/Hip/Shoulder Durability

-1 Set of 10-20 reps of TKEs, Front Foot Elevated Lunges, Laying Band Hip Traction, IYTs

Power/Speed Warmup-A Skips, High Knees, Rolling Hops, Alternating Single Leg Hops- all for 2-3 sets of 10 yards

-Medicine Ball Rebounds: 1-3 sets of 20 rebounds of Overhead, Chest Pass, Rotational and Scoop

-Jumps Up Hill or onto Boxes or Jumps into Foam Pit

-Week 1: 8 Total Jumps, Week 2:10 Total Jumps, Week 3: 12 Total Jumps, Week 4: 14 Total Jumps

-Jump Up Hill, onto a box or onto a foam landing pit will reduce the impact on the athlete’s lower body which will already receive great stress during their sport practice.

Explosive Medball Throws

            -Overhead Backwards Throw, Scoop Throw, Rotational Throw

-Week 1: 10 reps of each, Week 2: 8 reps of each, Week 3: 6 reps of each, Week 4: 5 reps of each

-Medicine ball throws will build explosive total body power without any additional stress to the joints of the lower body

-General Strength Development-High Volume

            -Box Squat

                        -Week 1: 4×10, Week 2: 4×8, Week 3: 4×6, Week 4: 4×5

            -Weighted Pushups

                        -Week 1: 4×12, Week 2: 4×10, Week 3: 4×8, Week 4: 12, 10, 8, 6

            -Bodyweight Row on Blast Straps

-Week 1: 4×12-15, Week 2-4×10-12, Week 3: 4×8-10 Week 4: 4×6-8

            -Back Extensions

– Week 1: 4×12-15, Week 2-4×10-12, Week 3: 4×8-10 Week 4: 4×6-8

-Special Strength Alactic Capacity Circuit

            -Box Jump Repeats x10 seconds

            -Barbell Russian Twists x10 seconds

            -Lateral Hops x10 seconds

            -Prowler Push x10 seconds

            -Split Squat Jumps x10 seconds

-Week 1: 1 minute rest between exercises, 4 rounds total, Week 2: 50 seconds rest between exercises, 4 rounds total, Week 3: 40 seconds rest, 4 rounds total, Week 4: 30 seconds rest between exercises, 4 rounds total

-Rest 3-5 minutes between each round

-Straight Leg Situps and Hanging Leg Raises-2 sets of 10-15 reps of each every week

Day 2/4/6-Extensive/Aerobic Capacity

            -General Warmup

            -Extensive Jumps (Kneeling and Zig Zag)

                        – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXyHx9zJL_Y

                        – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKc3rvJrets

                        – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVD1vKx_pm4

-Week 1-4: 3 of each kneeling jump variation, 3×10 yds of double leg zig zag hops, 2×10 yds each leg single leg zig zag hops

            -Aerobic Capacity Development Drills

-Tempo Activities (Running, Shuffling, Swimming, Jump Rope, etc, interspersed with bodyweight strength movments, calisthenics, and abdominal training)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeiznTbr-ko

-Week 1: 2x6x40 seconds, Week 2: 2x8x40 seconds, Week 3: 2x10x40 seconds, Week 4: 2x12x40 seconds

-Pool Tempos are a great idea to for avid skiers because stress on the joints is reduced. To perform these, just run in place in the pool for 40 seconds, rest for 20 and repeat for the prescribed reps. Perform a series of calisthenics between the tempo sets.

            -Extensive Medball Rebounds

                        – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCh9YnOR1yk

-Week 1: 300 Total Reps, Week 2: 400 Total Reps, Week 3: 500 Total Reps, Week 4: 600 Total Reps

            -More Abs

                        -Whatever exercises you want are fine

-Week 1: 30 seconds on/30 seconds off x6 rounds, Week 2: 30/30 x8, Week 3: 30/30 x10, Week 4: 30/30 x12

Day 3-Intensive/Lactic Capacity

            -General Warmup

            -Knee/Ankle/Hip/Shouler Durability

            -Power/Speed Warmup

            -Single Leg Jump Variations

-Single Leg Jump onto a Box, Week 1: 3 each leg, Week 2: 4 each leg, Week 3: 5 each leg, Week 4: 6 each leg

-Single Leg Lateral Jumps, Week 1: 2×3 each leg, Week 2: 2×4 each leg, Week 3: 2×5 each leg, Week 4: 2×6 each leg

            -Explosive Medball Throws

            -Overhead Backwards Throw, Scoop Throw, Rotational Throw

-Week 1: 10 reps of each, Week 2: 8 reps of each, Week 3: 6 reps of each, Week 4: 5 reps of each

-General Strength Development-Low Volume

            -Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat

-Week 1: 2×10-12 each leg, Week 2: 2×8-10 each leg, Week 3: 2×6-8 each leg, Week 4: 2×4-6 each leg

            -Bench Press

                        -Week 1: 2×10, Week 2: 2×8, Week 3: 2×6, Week 4: 2×5

            -Neutral Grip Chinup

                        -Week 1: 2×10, Week 2: 2×8, Week 3: 2×6, Week 4: 2×5

            -Good Mornings

-Week 1: 2×12-15, Week 2: 2×10-12, Week 3: 2×8-10, Week 3: 2×6-8

-Lactic Capacity Circuit x30 seconds each exercise for 5 Minutes in Duration of Total Work, do not include transition time from one exercise to the next

            -Box Jump Repeats

            -Isometric Squat Hold

            -Lateral Hops

            -Swiss Ball Balance

            -Prowler Push

-Week 1: 2 Total Rounds, 30/30, Week 2: 3 Total Rounds Week 3: 4 Total Rounds, Week 4: 5 Total Rounds

-Rest for 5-10 minutes between each 5 minute round

Day 5-Intensive/Alactic Power

            -General Warmup

            -Knee/Ankle/Hip/Shoulder Durability

-Power/Speed Warmup-A Skips, High Knees, Rolling Hops, Alternating Single Leg Hops, Medcine Ball Rebounds

-Jumps Up Hill or Boxes or Jumps into Foam Pit

-Week 1: 8 Total Jumps, Week 2:10 Total Jumps, Week 3: 12 Total Jumps, Week 4: 14 Total Jumps

-If you have access to a foam landing pad (ie. High Jump Pit) there are some creative variations to this you could perform to enhance your aerial abilities while skiing. For example, jump from the ground to a box and immediately upon landing on the box jump again, perform a spin, flip, or simulate a grab and then land on the foam pad.

-Explosive Medball Throws

            -Overhead Backwards Throw, Scoop Throw, Rotational Throw

-Week 1: 10 reps of each, Week 2: 8 reps of each, Week 3: 6 reps of each, Week 4: 5 reps of each

-General Strength Development-Medium Volume

            -Front Squat

                        -Week 1: 3×10, Week 2: 3×8, Week 3: 3×6, Week 4: 3×5

            -Dips

-Week 1: 3×12-15, Week 2: 3×10-12, Week 3: 3×8-10, Week 4: 3×6-8

            -Barbell Rows

-Week 1: 3×12-15, Week 2: 3×10-12, Week 3: 3×8-10, Week 4: 3×6-8

            -RDLs

– Week 1: 3×12-15, Week 2: 3×10-12, Week 3: 3×8-10, Week 4: 3×6-8

-Special Strength Alactic Capacity Circuit-Medium Volume

            -Box Jump Repeats x10 seconds

            -Barbell Russian Twists x10 seconds

            -Lateral Hops x10 seconds

            -Prowler Push x10 seconds

            -Split Squat Jumps x10 seconds

-Week 1: 1 minute rest between exercises, 3 rounds total, Week 2: 50 seconds rest between exercises, 3 rounds total, Week 3: 40 seconds rest, 3 rounds total, Week 4: 30 seconds rest between exercises, 3 rounds total

-Rest 3-5 minutes between each round

-Straight Leg Situps and Hanging Leg Raises-2 sets of 10-15 reps of each every week

The nature of high speed, high amplitude skiing is very demanding on your body. Prepare yourself like an athlete to ensure that you stay healthy and performing to your maximum abilities all season long.

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