Fit Tips from a 3rd Generation Austrian Ski Guide
This article by CMH's Director of Powder Introduction Roko Koell, first appeared in the Fall 2008 issue of CMH News. We received great comments on it and felt it was timely to re-post it here as fall turns to winter and our thoughts turn to Heli-Skiing in BC.
Most of us do not have the luxury of "extra time". Family, work, computers, blackberries and the rest of the burden of other evil media, overflows our daily time schedule. There never seems available time to train or work out. This does not mean we can not get ready for skiing. Waking up and shaping the skiing muscles and increasing the aerobic volume are the things to focus on at this stage. Forget the image that you have to push weights like Schwarzenegger at his best, or train like an Olympian.
There are a of couple of exercises we can do at home, when shopping or at work. Stairs are an excellent tool. Walk them up and down at all times, maybe a few extra laps at shopping malls or other high rise buildings; this will address both strength and stamina. Also lots of walking instead of driving (20 plus minutes per day) transports valuable oxygen through your muscles and lungs, and after work or on weekends religiously run or bike or use the aerobic equipment in your gym or at home, again 20 plus minutes 2-3 times a week will do. Also walking and/or hiking on steeper and uneven ground will strengthen your muscles and ligaments in your ankles and allow you to better initiate and carve turns.
Approach it easily but steadily and increase it gradually after a few weeks. Slow and steady wins the race! Later after you established a good base, you can work more ski specific. If you are able to keep up with some of the above mentioned exercises, you will feel fit and sexy when it is time to click into the bindings and put you signature on the nordic snow.
If you are one of the lucky ones who religiously finds the time to train on an almost daily basis and you are in good shape throughout the year, and you don't know about it already, you should look into the #1 Technical Ski Conditioner in the world, the SKIERS EDGE. There is no professional ski racer out there who does not use this equipment, and it is becoming a household item for many recreational ski enthusiasts. Most modern fitness gyms are equipped with it. If you find one in your gym, ask the professional staff or trainer to introduce you to the procedures and exercises, as it is very challenging to begin with and needs coaching and support for safety. It is the closest movement to skiing and one of the only tools that allow you to best train your skiing muscles, without being on the snow. It is serious and strenuous, and trains balance, skiing movements, muscle memory, rhythm, timing, reflexes, strength and stamina at the same time. 10 minutes, 3-4 times a week can get you in incredible skiing shape.
Have fun getting ready; see you on the slopes......