As the weather changes, from warm sunny days, to the cold and the snow, are you prepared for Winter? Are you ready to gear up and hit the slopes? If you are the season for Winter Sports is nearly upon us, but did you prepare for the upcoming season?
According to the Denver Post and to the University of Denver Strength and Conditioning staff, spending time in the gym is highly recommended to prepare for your first downhill run. For skiers and snowboarders, getting ready for snow-sport season means building strength, stability and even cardio fitness and obviously work to ensure injury prevention.
Skiers are becoming more and more aware of the importance of athleteic preparation aimed at preventing injuries on the slopes. In many countries the winter sports federation themselves are starting in partecipating actively in the education of the public. In these sports we have seen more and more workshops around technique and physical preparation, whether you are an expert or a beginner.
Technology in sport has become a big topic in the last year for team sports, and is highly evident in the snow-sport market as well. Using technology to test, record, and track progress in the offseason to prepare for the physical exertion of the actual season.
World class strength coach and physical therapist Lindsay Winninger (Olympic champion Lindsay Vonn’s physical therapist) confirmed that in her experience knee injuries are the most prevalent, with injuries to the medial collateral ligament ranking first and those to the anterior cruciate ligament following closely.
Essentials to every program fitted to skiers are strength, flexibility and balance. Obviously, since it’s very hard to recreate skiing like situations on dry land, you’ll be sore the first day of skiing even if you are well prepared but it’s essential to build good lower body strength to avoid injuries and be more consistent throughout the season. The best exercises are SQUATS, DEADLIFTS and SINGLE LEG LUNGES, these movements will help you go as hard as you want to for how long you like to go.
Another trainer of Vonn’s team and Red Bull strength trainer confirmed that leg strength is the most important thing to focus during pre-season.
“Every turn you make on the slopes puts significant force on your legs. But increasing your strength reduces the relative force, resulting in less fatigue and improving the quality of your skiing and riding”.
If you followed the work up season last year you’ve surely noticed how explosive and dynamic the sport has become; Marcel Hirscher, last season overall winner, has put al lot of efforst in strength training following a crossfit training program and adding quite a few pounds of mass.
“CrossFit showed me a total new way of training for range of motion in all those workouts. I’m fighting against tired legs, which is so normal when you do CrossFit, so it changed my whole way of standing on my feet. It was a good decision” Admitted in an interview Hirscher after last year win of the season.
So I suggest you to resume your dusty gym subscription and start lifting some iron again, to shine on the slopes this winter and not only at après-ski bars!