Kick your body in to shape for the slopes
The fluffy flakes are starting to pile up in Steamboat Springs and folks are already skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling up in Rabbit Ears Pass. A preseason fitness program will help you prepare for a winter enjoying Steamboat’s legendary powder and help you go strong all day.
Remember, preparation = payoff. Sara, your AFAA certified fitness trainer at The Porches, has created a few routines to build your muscle base and get you ready for every kind of winter adventure.
Eccentric vs. Concentric Training
Preparing for winter sports is more than squats and lunges. Traditional alpine sport training often focuses on concentric leg strength. To really enjoy your first day of skiing, and to be strong enough to go back for more the next day, your training program needs to focus on eccentric leg strength. Concentric strength is what you use to stand up from a squat or hike up a steep hill. Eccentric strength is used to lower you into a squat, absorb a landing, and hike down a steep hill. Eccentric strength absorbs force. High-speed alpine sports primarily demand eccentric strength. It’s also important for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on hilly terrain.
In the search for the best exercises to train eccentric strength Sara discovered the ‘Leg Blaster’ series and has worked it into not only her own fitness regime but her fitness classes as well. To see the Leg Blaster series in action, check out Crystal Wright’s training video on Teton Gravity Research’s page.
The best thing about the Leg Blasters; no equipment is needed. Start with a thorough warm up (butt kicks, high knees, curtsy lunges, and standing twists) and use a foam roller on all of your muscles for your cool down. Perform the Leg Blasters two times per week, with at least 48 hours rest between training sessions.
Follow the progression below to work up to the “full” blaster series and make sure your form is perfect. Pair the Leg Blaster series with the suggested Bosu and ACL stabilizing exercises below and you’ll be ready for every sport that Steamboat Springs has to offer!
Mini Leg Blaster
10 Air Squats
5 Forward Lunges (5x each leg, 10x total)
5 Jumping Lunges (5x each leg, 10x total)
5 Jump Squats
Full Leg Blaster
20 Air Squats
10 In-Place Lunges (10x each leg, 20x total)
10 Jumping Lunges (10x each leg, 20x total)
10 Jump Squats
This is a great progression to follow:
Week 1: 4 minis,2 Bosu exercises, 2 tasks for ACL injury prevention
Week 2: 6 minis, 2 Bosu exercises, 2 tasks for ACL injury prevention
Week 3: 2 fulls, 2 Bosu exercises, 2 tasks for ACL injury prevention
Week 4: 6 minis, 2 Bosu exercises, 2 tasks for ACL injury prevention
While training it is also important to perform exercises that will protect your ACL and help prevent injury. Below are great exercises to incorporate into the above routine to help prevent injury.
Bridge: Hold for 20 seconds, add 10 seconds each day
Bridge with one leg elevated: Hold for 20 seconds, add 10 seconds each day (each side)
Forward lunge: Repeat 10 times on each side, do 3 sets
Warrior 2: Bend and lengthen 10 times each side, do 2 sets