Recent snowstorms in the mountains have Colorado skiers dreaming about fresh powder.
Oct. 20. 2011
Palmer Hoyt, the head coach of the 2011 National Champion CU Freestyle Ski Team, says there are some simple things skiers can do before they hit the slopes to help prevent injury and maximize their ski experience. Hoyt suggests beginning with exercises that mimic the twisting and side-to-side movements associated with skiing.
CUT 1 “Doing combination-type full body workouts where you’re twisting, utilizing balance as well as the body’s stabilizer muscles throughout a full range of motion is really important to the kind of strength that translates to skiing.” (:15)
Because skiing uses so many different muscles throughout the body, Hoyt says squats are among the most effective exercises eager skiers can do.
CUT 2 “I preach to the team about doing a lot of squats because doing squats will build not only your leg muscles, but your whole body. It works your adrenal system and it kick starts the body into building muscle. (:17) And more standard workouts like that are great across the board, it doesn’t matter what kind of skiing you’re doing.” (:22)
Hoyt says you don’t need a gym membership to get into skiing shape. Improvised items like a sturdy box about 18 inches high can yield great results.
CUT 3 “There’s the typical box jump that’s great for any type of skiing. You hop up on it using two feet - hopping up on the box and hopping off the box and doing it as quickly as possible. And that’s good for all types of skiing.” (:10)
Hoyt says by designing exercises that mimic the motions of their particular genre of skiing—be it Nordic, alpine or freestyle—anyone can tailor their workout to a specific genre of skiing.
CUT 4 “In freestyle skiing, we like to mix up the box jump where somebody will jump up and spin 270 degrees and land on the box and spin off 270 degrees. By mixing it up that way you can specialize preseason ski fitness training workouts to the specific genre of skiing you may be interested in.” (:18)
For many skiers, the ski season ends early not because of melting snow but because of an injury. Hoyt calls skiing an “incredible activity” and believes it is just more enjoyable when skiers aren’t worried about a premature end to their season because of an injury.
CUT 5 “It’s good to stretch a lot. Make sure that your legs, front and back, quads, hamstrings, are stretched out. Any kind of lateral, or torsional strength building exercises are really important.” (:13)
Hoyt says, if you like to ski the best advice he can give is to keep a routine workout program going year round. That way, he says, when October hits and you see snow on the high peaks you’ll know that you’ll be ready to go when the first lifts are fired up.