Thomas and I went for a mid week, midday hike today. What a treat! The trees are turning color and the air has a definite crispness to it. It is starting to smell and feel very different outside. 

In fact, today reminded me that ski season is literally just around the corner. OMG!

Yes, snow is starting to appear on the high mountain tops and ski hills are advertising passes and offerings on various trips and packages that are upcoming. Hmmm, New Years ski touring anyone?

I am excited!

I love skiing and NOW is the time to start a pre-season training routine to get prepared! My experience from junior and varcity ski racing days reminds me that the next 90 days are key to having a great ski season, and to saving my knees. Yep, its dry-land training time.

What do you need to focus on for skiing? Glad you asked!

#1) Your Quads! 

Yes, those front of the thigh muscles will be screaming loudly on the first (and sometimes the last) day on the slopes. I strongly suggest you focus on building strength and endurance with exercises that target the legs. My favorites for their effectiveness and efficiency are 1. squats 2. wall-sits 3. lunges. 

Start with just your body weight, 3 sets of 30 second cycles. Then add light to heavier dumbbells, (5-8-10-20 lbs.). Finally, build up to 3 sets of 1 minute with dumbbells with 1-2 minute rest in between.  FORM is critical. Remember to maintain good posture, a tight core, and breath well.

#2) Your heart and lungs!  

Oh ya... the heart pumping, leg pounding, lungs screaming runs that always show up at the beginning of ski season. It really erks me when I have to stop because my legs are on fire and my chest is heaving! Well its my own darn fault.  

Instead of my regular daily walk, its time to add in some interval training and kick my cardio vascular system in the butt. If you haven't done interval training before, go slow, and if you aren't sure speak to your doctor. Aim for a 30 minute walk, 2-3 x a week that you inject short intense bursts of exercise into and then a recovery period. Just by adding in 2-5 short bursts (10-30 seconds) of walking as fast as you can, (or jumping jacks, or skipping, or burpees, etc.) followed by 1-2 minutes of walking at your regular pace, will see your system improve dramatically over the next 90 days. Interval training is one of the fastest ways to get fit, train your heart and lungs and lose weight. 

#3) Your core! (You knew it was coming.) 

Without a strong core your low back and knees can take a beating when skiing. All that up and down movement has to be controlled, with massive energy travelling up through your legs and into your pelvis and core. A strong core will stabilize your spine on top of your pelvis, help safely transfer energy efficiently from the bottom up, keep your spine more upright and your center of gravity balanced over your feet, where you want it. Skiing, after all, is all about balance.

Ready to do some? Here is a short Beginner Core routine that you can start with. 

I recommend 3 sets, starting with 30-60 second per exercise and building up to 2 minute planks (from your toes when you are ready)

And just a reminder that my virtual Pilates classes are running now through Dec. 10, Tuesdays and Fridays at 9.30 am PST. If you want to join just let me know, you are most welcome. I can create a package price for the remainder of the series (one or two times a week, or recordings), and send you the Zoom link asap. I am also available to work with you privately. Please reach out for more information. 

Here's to being ready this year to take on the slopes with confidence, strength, balance and stamina!

Janine xx