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Off-season training

Sharing of a rant and observation from my perspective.

Every off-season I partake in training with the goal to keep in shape for skiing, prevent injury, and hopefully improve my buoy count. This has been going on now for 15ish years and throughout that time I've had mixed results. It's funny you can really work on something, for example strength through weight training, And it helps to a point but Somewhere along the line you achieve max results that transfer and the rest just makes you better at the training method and no longer helps skiing maybe even hindering. Skiing and sports are complex and most formal exercise is rudimentary. Movements such as squats or deadlifts are imperative to understand and be proficient at but endless cycles only benefit to a point. it's as if the basic motor patterns overdrive the inate reflexes we develop within our sport through practice. Genetically I think we respond differently to the same things so for some weight training is best others cardio and others yoga for example so I think there is no best training program for everyone. For me I respond best to some trail running and a variety of exercises but I think mostly an offseason where I learn something new and identify and challenge a weakness. Skiing is precision, balance and reaction. acquiring a leverage position upon completion of the turn and resisting the forces of the boat for acceleration all the while staying submax in order to stay in control allows you to manage and navigate the course. Essentially we connect the dots get in a good position and hold the force while we make adjustments to set up the next set of events. I realized last year that doing tons of reps and developing lots of power as is the objective for so many other sports isn't conducive for skiing. In response I've been focusing on holds using parallettes as in gymnastics, it made me realize a major weakness in core strength and flexibility. I can deadlift 3x body weight but a 20 second L-sit was very difficult. Additionally I've been spending some time bouldering at a climbing gym, again it's core strength, holds, problem solving and transfer of energy. We'll see what next year has in store.


  • skibugskibug Posts: 2,126
    edited December 2016
    This year, cardio (again)...road and trail running, strength training through functional body weight movements, some weight training, and this year I am doing TRX training every other day. TRX is incredible for core strength and engages a ton of your stabilizer muscles through the movements. You will definitely find out where your weakness are and where you need to focus. I am looking forward to see how much it helps this coming season. Anyone else have experience with TRX training?
    Bob Grizzi
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 3,172 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Here in Orlando we ask: What is this "off season" of which you speak?

    Beauchesne use to rock climb, mountain bike and snow ski as his almost sole off season or cross training activities and we was exrtremely fit. Personally, I like the gym.
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
  • sohoskier2sohoskier2 Posts: 3 Baller
    I would like to offer a slightyly different perspective to your views of weight training @TravisNW. While I am not even close to a tournament level skier, I coach high school football which has changed some of my ideas about training in the offseason. There are no barbells on the field with my athletes but time in the weight room is vitally important to their development to increase their baseline strength in the offseason. What I have found to be particularly effective is a program that begins with a primary focus on strength development and transitions to a program that helps the athletes utilize their new strength as a football player in the positions they need it most. I have found a similar approach to be pretty successful for myself in waterskiing as well.

    Personally I have found an offseason program that begins in the winter with weight training and transitions into higher rep body weight movements and high intensity intervals to be effective.

    One piece of equipment I would highly reccomend from my experience would be the battle rope. It has been very effective in conditioning my upper body and training for those dynamic full body loads found in waterskiing because it forces your upper body to work through your core to your base of power in your legs.
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 2,470 Mega Baller
    edited December 2016
    Cross train 3 days per week and officiate 45 to 50 basketball games from December to March.
    MuskokaKyRalph LeeTravisNW
  • wtrskiorwtrskior Posts: 704 Crazy Baller
    I have never been a big gym guy and find it pretty difficult to get motivated in the cold northern winter! I use the TRX and love it but my kids have taken over the space in my basement I used it in.

    Gonna hit the gym today though. Fudge it!
  • bigskieridahobigskieridaho Posts: 944 Crazy Baller
    Snow skiing, balance weight training for legs and core, conditioning with weights, 50-60 pull ups a day. I agree that core is very important when it comes to cross training. Lucky for me my wife is a beachbody coach and we do a lot of those workouts which seem to be the ticket!
  • jjackkrashjjackkrash Posts: 882 Crazy Baller
    The big six: Deadlifts, Squats, Bench, Overhead Press, Rows, Pull-ups.

    @TravisNW, 3xBW is a big lift. What weight class do you PL in?
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    I think if you are creative you can target areas of weakness with your routine. You can also strengthen areas to avoid injury. However, that's only one piece of the puzzle. Life on a water ski is balance, response time, visual and physical coordination. These are less about pure strength, and more about balance and reaction time, and full body strength, mobility, and flexibility. There are so many ways to work on these attributes, which can be done in the gym or, in many cases, in your living room. I should probably start a blog. I have done so many things along these lines and I come up with new ones regularly. Hmmm . . . how am I going to fit that into my schedule?
    Jim Ross
  • ktm300ktm300 Posts: 432 Solid Baller
    edited December 2016
    TravisNW I identify. Injury forced me to a different view of working out. Hiking with lots of elevation change is great. Strength, cardio, balance, proprioception and it is so enjoyable to be in the wide open spaces. There really is no crime in doing something enjoyable. Planks, planks and more planks of varying kinds. Offset (one arm) farmers carry is great core and creates strength with your arms straight. Also increases grip strength considerably and, as a result, I hold the handle "lighter" when skiing. My previous pulling exercises actually made it more difficult to ski with straight arms and I found my self pulling on the handle more. As stupid as it may sound, being weaker pulling wise and much stronger core wise made it easier to stay with the handle. Lifting heavy makes us heavier too. Sprint up a steep hill and walk to bottom; repeat. So different than the typical gym workouts I used to do but, for me, better in many ways.

    Report back when you start skiing to tell us how it goes with the new workout.
  • skifanskifan Posts: 69 Baller
    This year I am doing CrossFit for the first time. I know it doesn't work the exact same muscles as skiing but the way the workouts are structured it work multiple muscle groups at once, like skiing. It will also get you gassed as fast as skiing. Working out with a group, like skiing with pals, also forces you to push yourself more than you would in your basement alone. So far I'm liking it and hoping it will help with my durability when ski season starts.
  • Basketball leagues and family hikes
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 3,172 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @sohoskier2 Do you have a daughter, by chance? April Coble Eller's dad was a high school football coach. Worked out well for her.
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
  • TravisNWTravisNW Posts: 93 Baller
    Awesome, great responses! Sounds like skiing in general is great motivation to stay in shape. @jjackkrash I'm a little guy @ 150lb. I am stronger in my pulls than squats. I like the big six but I also enjoy the family of cleans and snatches, with most all thingsbad reps, I've been a trainer For 8 years I don't compete in lifting just use it to help skiing and to prevent boredom. @lpskier I would love to be able to just snowski and rock climb like JB but unfortunately the day job gets in the way of that.... @skibug I think TRX is great, I love combos of exercises and the constant engagement of core. @skifan crossfit is fun, great community and I think your right the nature of the metcon work does wonders for sustaining strength through a pass and then again from pass to pass and set to set. @ktm300 I think your spot on about how excessive pulling strength becomes counter productive, a strong core and perceptive/reactive/efficient approach equals big buoy count. Ever try to teach a really strong dude to get up and just fail miserably then his tiny girlfriend just pops right up
  • sohoskier2sohoskier2 Posts: 3 Baller
    I've got a son on the way but no daughter yet. Can't wait to get him on the water.

    @RazorRoss3 what mobility/flexibility movements have you found that help you the most for skiing?
  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,383 Mega Baller
    Before I ski I loosen up my back, hips, and legs with stretches, foam rolling, and bending/flexing. I try and spend a half hour stretching every morning so it's mostly routine at this point. I think squats and deadlifts have been really helpful the last two or three years because the strengthen functional movements. Great for core, back, and legs.
  • ErikBerghillerErikBerghiller Posts: 93 Solid Baller
    I do Freeletics, only bodyweight and focus on core, legs and cardio. Maybe not optimal for skiing but it still makes a huge difference in the course! Here in Sweden the pre-season is longer than the actual season...unfortunately :neutral:
  • scorban2scorban2 Posts: 107 Baller
    I don't have a real refined workout plan for the winter months, but I find that hitting the gym on a regular basis and staying active is much better than doing nothing :smile:. Some good advice on this thread that I'm going to use to try to get a bit more out of my gym time though.

    @Razorskier1 I'd be interested in some of the things you've come up with.
  • bkreisbkreis Posts: 315 Baller
    for anyone interested, I create custom workouts for skiers off/on season..btw I am a fitness professional and love to create for skiers! pls msg me if interested.
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 3,172 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I can vouch for @bkreis. I've used him for years.
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
  • BeastmodeBeastmode Posts: 89 Baller
    edited January 2017
    Trent Finlayson has this 9 exercise core workout that will help any short line skier get to the next level. I just found this and started doing this last week and immediately I realized
    weaknesses in my core stability and balance. It was a light bulb moment for why I was inconsistent at 35 and 38 during transition.

    What Trent said in WSM

    I found another Light bulb exercise. Exact pull you feel during transition. Its in the new issue of "The Water skier" By Megan Lambert,
    (Train your Core- this off season) she called it "Pall of Press" basically standing sideways to a cable machine, with both hands on the handle and elbows to sides (just like a solid stance) stepping a few steps away so there is a weighted pull wanting to pull and twist you back. You resist this through your core and press you arms straight out infront of you and back in. 10 to 15 reps turn and do other side. Can be done with rubber workout bands

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