Most people start getting themselves in the best shape of the year during the spring with an eye on bathing suit season. Not me, I dislike the heat and humidity the dog days of summer bring to New England. That time of year tends to be my least active. Fishing and golf keep me busy, but there are usually a few beverages involved. Around mid September I tend to settle into a routine with the purpose of getting this old frame ready for ski season.
Friends have approached me about physical preparation for the season. One mentioned that he had purchased a bike and was riding nightly. My remark, he had better be going up hills and not just down them. Others take what they read from the skiing magazines or visit the gym, both good. One person has even asked me about the Skier’s Edge. No comment.
Whatever yours may be having a routine is important. Set one that is realistic and that you will be able to stick with. Mine is certainly not that of a world cup athlete, but it gets me where I need to be by the time I snap into the bindings for the first turns. It takes me about an hour a day, four to five days a week.
First thing is the stretching. I actually attended a ski clinic last year up at Sugarbush, Kristen Ulmer’s Ski to Live. Going into it I was admittedly nervous by one item on the daily agenda—Yoga. At the time I had zero experience, but knew I was inflexible as most late twenty year olds who spent too much time in a chair looking at flat-screen monitors. Nonetheless yoga turned out to be a huge help for my ailing lower back and trick hip. I continued with the set of stretches I learned—mostly ski specific—for the remainder of the season and onward. My sequence takes about 25 minutes and is a great way to keep limber.
Next; the standards of push-ups, sit-ups and arm work with dumbbells. Nothing special here, but your mid section is actually a very important piece of the skiers anatomy. Many have the bad habit while skiing of breaking at the waist, especially in the bumps.
Lastly a nice 3 to 4 mile jog is in order. Nothing crazy, I mainly work on breathing patterns when I run. Also something that people struggle with on the mountain. Most do not even realize they are doing it, but a lot of people hold their breath when they are going downhill. This kills your stamina; you are not giving your muscles the oxygen they need. Unknowingly suffocating your body will make you have to stop often mid run.
Some other thoughts: Jump rope and rollerblading are great for skiing. Squats help the right muscles if you are in the gym. Or do nothing; just be sore and tired after your day on the snow.