Have you spent the summer hiking and biking and do you think you are in good shape for the next season on the snow?
It may not be enough…
According to the Denver Post and to the University of Denver Strength and Conditioning staff some time spent in the gym is recommended to get ready 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. Recently at the Modena SKIPASS in Italy, FISI (The Italian Winter Sports Federation) held several workshops about tecnique and physical preparation addressed both to the expert and to the novice.
Beside the workshops, the visitors had the chance to look at the latest technologies available on the strength training market; the closest to the consumer was definetly Beast Sensor, which is enough advanced and precise to be used by pro athletes but also accessible and fun for amateurs. This were the topics touched in the short lecture led by CTO Tommaso Finadri and Andrea Viano, the strength coach of the italian national skiing team. The Beast team was also joined by some world cup skiers, among them Federica Brignone, fresh of world cup victory in Solden, Irene Curtoni and Sofia Goggia.
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 throughou the season. Evergreen 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 legs 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 you dusty gym subscription and start lifting some iron again, to shine on the slopes this winter and not only at après-ski bars!