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Getting into shape for slalom

I need some serious help please ... What would be the best approach to get into shape for slalom free-skiing?

It has been a few years and a whole lot of extra lb's since I last held the handle, what should I focus on (apart from weight loss) to get into shape for slalom? Any specific workouts or excersises would be great! Thx
... start where you are, use what you have, do what you can ...


  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,351 Mega Baller
    Legs, glutes, core, back, shoulders, curls, grip...

    You can do all of that stuff, and you're still going to feel sore as hell the first several times. While focusing on core strength and mobility (flexibility) are probably your best things to prevent injury, there's really no substitute for actually skiing in my experience.

    If you're just getting back into it, get a wider ski to start out with and work your way to more aggressive skis.
  • MZitoMZito Posts: 169 Baller
    I'm a fan of suspension trainers. Jungle Gym XT, and TRX are the brands I use. One can work the whole body at home.
    Matt Zito...Detroit Mi
    Pat Mpayet
  • ski6jonesski6jones Posts: 1,053 Mega Baller
    Cardio and core to start.
    Carl Addington, Lakes of Katy, Texas
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 2,698 Mega Baller
    I’ve seen Ed do those pull ups!
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 662 Crazy Baller
    Start lifting weights. Things like squats, deadlift, rows, etc. Check out the book The New Rules Of Lifting. It focuses more on functional movements, which will help a lot. Nothing is quite like the real thing and you will be sore.
  • RednucleusRednucleus Posts: 377 Crazy Baller
    @payet how old are you (if you don't mind me asking) and do you have any previous injuries or health concerns we need to consider
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 2,698 Mega Baller
    Best advice is to get a trainer and go to a gym. The trainer’s job is to help you get fit and to make sure you don’t get hurt in the process. If you can find a trainer that knows skiing, all the better.
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 662 Crazy Baller
    I want to agree with @lpskier but it is way too easy for any moron to become a trainer. Many don't know much beyond what their bros tell them. A good trainer will make a great positive impact but a bad one can cause injury and really hold you back. Try to find a sports specific trainer. They are often with places that work to improve athletes instead. The trainers at most typical gyms only work to get people skinny or build vanity muscles, and aren't good that even that.
  • Calisdad57Calisdad57 Posts: 22 Baller
    Remove all dairy, wheat, and sugar from your diet an you’ll lose the fat. Compound lifts that utilize large muscle groups will be your best friend. Dr. said no more running, so I bike and jump on the trampoline with my daughter for some cardio. I’m going on 62 and very strong, but no matter how much I think I’m in shape..... the first runs of the year always humble me. Most importantly, have fun!
  • CentCent Posts: 177 Baller
    Here is some advice from an old guy. I will be 74 in July.

    Last year my first run was 42 degree water and 46 degree air in a Camaro wetsuit. I free skied close to one half hour at 34. Kept it smooth and easy.

    Went again the next day. Same run. Felt


    Nothing was sore. Why? Because I stay active pretty much year around and try to lift weights at least once a week. I do some weighted rowing machine work as ski season approaches.

    Skiing works your whole body so do different things that use legs, arms, and the core and you can be ready. Ease into it in weights with lots of lighter reps and be sure there is some activity in your life where your moving everything as opposed to just doing weights. Do what you like jog, bike, rowing machine, whatever gets you out and moving. Then start easy and build and have fun.
  • RednucleusRednucleus Posts: 377 Crazy Baller
    At age 60 this is the 1st year I have skied regularly (except wet Feb one outing) all 12 months of the year in WA - and I feel better/stronger than I have in years and never fell out of "ski shape". So once you get back in to it, "SKI TO STAY IN SHAPE TO SKI"
  • ShaunTShaunT Posts: 41 Baller
    And if your looking for a program for a bit guidence try the Method by Radix program which is advertised here. I really enjoyed it and was a good addition to stuff I was already doing. But a good reputable 1 on 1 personal trainer can't be beat when it comes to correct technique and minimising injury, goal setting etc. Even doing something like F45 circuit training to get a good carido/strength base going would be good. Just get moving in some fashion.

    And skiing beats it all for sure. Once your doing both your fitness progress will build faster then you'd expect.
  • jgills88jgills88 Posts: 18 Baller
    edited April 2019
    Slalom is fundamentally a resistance exercise. The best way to prep for something like that is to be in shape and build up your endurance. The base of any type of muscular endurance is cardio. Try to run a mile or two every day while you get in shape. If you do it before your workout you'll be nice and warmed up for your lift. People have already pointed out the key muscle groups for skiing, but it's important to be well rounded in your exercises. I'm gonna put down a pretty concise exercise plan that assumes that you have access to a weight room. If you have any questions, or want more specifics let me know.

    Monday (Chest)
    Incline Bench: 4 sets x 10-15 reps
    Decline Bench: 4 sets x 10-15 reps
    Dumbell Bench (heavy): 3 sets x 4-6 reps
    Dips: 3 x 25
    Tricep push downs: 4 x 25

    Tuesday (Legs) -- I personally do not like squatting. In my mind it's too much body risk for not enough reward. Feel free to sub it in for Leg Press

    Leg Press: 3 x 8
    Leg Curl: 3 x 10
    Leg Extension: 3 x 10
    Calf Raises: 3 x 25
    Shoulder Press: 3 x 10
    3-Way Shoulders: 3 x 12

    Wednesday: REST DAY

    Thursday (Back)
    Pull Ups: 4 x 15
    Cable Rows: 3 x 10
    1 Arm Rows: 3 x 12 (each arm)
    Bicep Curls: 3 x 15
    Barbel Curls: 2 x 25

    Friday (Legs pt 2): Light
    Deadlift: 4 x 4
    Bulgarian Squat: 3 x 12
    Shrugs: 4 x 15

    Don't forget to work on core exercises every day. I can go into more detail if you want. The basic idea of this plan is to build up muscular endurance with high rep, lower weight exercises. Hope this helps!
  • mfjaegersrmfjaegersr Posts: 200 Solid Baller
    As an 'after' might consider adding Icing to your post-ski routine - particularly shoulders, back, and arms. I started doing this a couple of years ago (when I unretired from skiing) and found it greatly reduces both the severity and duration of the soreness. (Of course, it's all relative; the 2nd day after the first ride of the year is always gonna be brutal, ice or no.)
  • BojanBojan Posts: 6 Baller
    Hey all,

    I saw that somebody’s already mentioned it but I’m just putting it out there again. METHOD Waterski Training Series is creates be RADIX and targets everything your body needs to be ready for your first ski set.

    I designed this program with a plan to create a skier who thinks more than just reps and strength. A skier is much more than this! We flex, bend, twist and compensate and that’s why we need to rethink training and start at the basis of movement and do it right, good and with great quality.

    METHOD is easy to follow with videos and description for every exercise. It also gives you a list of equipment you will need.

    @Horton himself did the program!

    If you want to check it out:

    And of course if anybody has questions:

    [email protected]

    I’m happy to help because I’ve been in the same “boat” with back pain and ridiculous workout regimes. I want to change it and make skiers feel better!
  • HortonHorton Posts: 28,761 Administrator
    I learned a lot and got ready for summer doing the program. Not saying I showed the level of consistency or follow through I should have but the program is great.
    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

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  • skinutskinut Posts: 416 Baller
    @jgills88 wow, your pull ups must be unreal. 4X15 is that your own body weight?
  • jgills88jgills88 Posts: 18 Baller
    edited April 2019
    @skinut the goal is to work your way up to body weight (then add to it eventually), but you can totally work your way up to the full sets within a few months
  • TELTEL Posts: 351 Crazy Baller
    @jgills88 Not sure why you are dong 4 sets unless you want to be a big bulky body builder. Maybe for a couple months in the winter months to put on a little more muscle. But during ski season that is a lot and skiing too. I workout now and winter months doing two sets, first set 10 to 12 reps then second set heavy weight to burn out 4 to 6 reps. I use one workout per muscle and use different machine, cable or free weights each week. I go 30 mins three times a week Legs Monday, Chest, Arms and Abs, Back and shoulders on Thursday. I also warm up rowing or treadmill. Light, lean and strong.

  • 2Valve2Valve Posts: 294 Baller
    If you can get the weight off, everything else comes easier. I lost 30+ lbs. a couple years ago and got back into the gym with Circuit Training and Pilates, and the last couple years have been my best ever. Pilates is one of those exercises that works your body in a very unique way, strengthening muscle groups that work together. I'm 60 and shouldn't have 6 pack abs, but they're there. lol
  • payetpayet Posts: 3
    @Rednucleus I am 42 ... no injuries and the only health concern is being overweight
    ... start where you are, use what you have, do what you can ...
  • payetpayet Posts: 3
    Thank you for all the advice! I am sure it will help me to get back on the water again without having to let go of the handle after 2 turns!
    ... start where you are, use what you have, do what you can ...
  • ReallyGottaSkiReallyGottaSki Posts: 107 Baller
    I can add

    Cycle like a mofo. Heart. Lungs. Stamina. Keeps your weight in check.

    I also do weighted pull-ups, wide overhand +30#, overhand +35#, underhand +40-45#
    but takes some time to build up to that, but when your reps hit 10-12 you can start adding 5-10# very easily

    If your pull-ups are not happening, get up on a stool and do slow negatives.
    Really engage your back. Soon you will be up without assistance.

    two years ago on a long lake in Maine i did 114 consecutive hard pulls without a rest or turn around . I only say so because no way would be possible without cycling like a mofo.
  • Fam-manFam-man Posts: 198 Solid Baller
    This was my spring tune up;
    Cardio - mix of running and rowing machine
    Push ups, pull ups and static hang from bar
    Plank and sit ups
    Body weight lunges, step up and squat

    Results after over 6 months off the water
    Free ski Sunday, 3 long sets - strength was good, possibly over did it and was sore from fingertips to neck.
    Rest Monday to Wednesday
    Thursday to Sunday - course & clininc. 4 days, 7 sets, 48 passes. By the end I was worn out but didn't have any soreness.

    Next spring I will probably do more free ski sessions with fewer shorter sets.
  • ScottScottScottScott Posts: 915 Crazy Baller
    I'm not going to suggest in any way that there aren't differences in approaches, and some are certainly better, and anything done incorrectly can hurt you. But....I will throw out that ANYTHING is beneficial (as long as you don't hurt yourself.) I have always be on and off when it comes to exercise and the gym, really haven't done a lot since I started skiing 5-6 years ago, more seriously in the last 3-4 years. Starting January I decided it was time to drop a little weight and start working out. Just doing my own little program at home with just dumbbells and floor exercises (planks etc.) Ive dropped 25 lbs, from @183 to @158, since January and my endurance skiing is more than significantly better than it was last fall.
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