That's right, now is the time. When it comes to backcountry skiing, what wants to come down must first go up. If you don't want your quads to tremble and your lungs to ache, it's time start training your body for ski season. Though we're all doing our snow dance hoping for epic powder this season (or even any snow at all), perhaps we'd be better off if we traded those dance moves for a core-strengthening, endurance-boosting workout that will help us shred the slopes with ease and, hopefully, grace.
Eric Lubell and Jeremy Currie, the trainers at Evolution Healthcare and Fitness, put together a series of six exercises that are sure to help your performance this winter. According to the experts, you should being your strength training program 10 to 12 weeks out from the beginning of the season (meaning you need to start today!). You'll want to focus on form before progressing with weights and intensity.
Start by completing the workout one to two times per week and performing 8 to 12 reps of each exercise, each side. As strength builds, raise the intensity by adding more weight with the same amount of reps. Once form and strength have been established, start incorporating more endurance to the workout by lowering the weight and increasing the reps to 15 to 20.
Back, arms, core
lower body abductors, lower body adductors, hip stability, knee stability
Core, upper and lower back, glutes, hamstrings, ankle stability, quads
Core, glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves
Abdominals, obliques, quadradus lumborum (lower back), back extensors and flexors
Core, quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, triceps, shoulder
You should begin your taper about three weeks from the beginning of the season, and it's important to lower your intensity at this phase. Workouts should be conducted two times per week and incorporate both strength and endurance. A good recommendation is to work at roughly 70% to 80% of your previous working weight as you taper the workouts; for instance, if you usually squat with 50 pounds, squat with a maximum of 40 pounds. Continue to cross-train during the taper to prevent any unwanted weight gain and keep your body efficient for the season.
Thanks again to the professionals at Evolution Healthcare and Fitness for supplying the workout and how to videos. Now it's up to you to get started!