After a summer of sitting in your lawn chair sipping lemonade or going on casual strolls, it is time to get moving and get in shape for winter. The big question is how to do it even if you don't have much time before you take your ski vacation. Emily is in year 2 of her race career with Brighton Competition Ski Team and has already started training. Yes, we are still running to football, soccer and all other fall activiites, but the kids are doing dryland training for skiing. After all, you can't just show up the first day on the mountain and expect your legs to be ready to go. She trains once a week for 2 months before the season even starts. I'm tired thinking of it, but I sat down with Jessie Delacenserie who is the coach of the U14 kids and got some tips on how we all can get in shape-basically waking up your muscles.
The great thing is you don't need to go to a gym or take a ton of time, it can all be done at home. Jessie suggests starting a month before you have your vacation and doing just small things like squats once a day. Things you can use if you have them:
1. Bosu Ball (refer to my cover photo)-can use for lunges, balance, squats
2. You can make a balance board out of PVC pipe, duct tape and a board-refer to video of Brennan
3. A wooden box for balance-closest simulation for the skiing movement.
4. Plastic hurdles-by hopping over, you control your side to side movement.
So, breaking the excercises down:
It is all about hamstrings, your quads, your core and balance. (there is a reason I'm not a good skier)
1. Squats...lots of them. You can plant yourself agains a wall, a tree, anything straight up and down and sit in a 90 degree angle. Emily calls them wall sits and by the end of training she's limping along. Hold this position as long as you can. You can sit side by side with someone and pass a ball along to each other. You are working your quads and also your core for a turning simulation. You can lift your heals..working your calves while sitting in this posiion. You can also do squats from a standing position and go down to a squat position. Do this rapidly for 20 seconds and build your time up. You can add weights while going up and down into your squat position. You can work up your speed for fast squats and use momentum up and down while keeping balance. Also, lunges, do 10 on each side.
2. Lateral movements... When you ski, your body moves from side to side while keeping balance. You need to keep control of your body. You can do single leg squats on your own or with a partner (refer to my photos). While on a single leg, put some dots, cones...on the floor away from you in a circle. You reach out to each one while on one leg. Readjust your center of gravity and back down. You are working on balance and your quads. You can also use some sort of low hurdle or not and jump from side to side while holding your balance. You are simulating the side to side movement of skiing. Emily is doing it in her video by running and twisting her core.
3. Balance... This is something that is built up with the kids. The closest simulation to skiing is using a box and doing box jumps. It is hard to keep the balance but the key is to jump onto a box into a squat position and back down the other side staying in a squat and also keeping your shoulders in the same position-staying level. Your legs pop up and pop down shifting your weight and using your core and quads. Hard to capture this one, but great practice on balancing. Really getting the power in your legs to pop you up and back down, just like on skis. You can also do this on the ground with some cones or something lower while keeing your shoulders square and popping up and down. You can also make a balance board-video of Brennan.
As Jessie mentions, if you have a strong core, you can do anything. It's about strength and balance. So, now that we're all in shape (right) we need the snow. Join me throughout the winter as Emily has season 2 of racing and Brenna continues his quest for going into the Olympics on his snowboard.