Skiing On A Solid Base
Skiing requires a lot of different physical attributes, in the beginning I begin by introducing people to exercises that will help build their base strength before going away, the term I now use for this stage is Coach Ian Kings term ‘Control Exercises’(1)
For some this is all they will do before they can get a chance to graduate up in level of difficulty.
As everyone is different and have different rates of learning, I believe in making sure clients use correct technique and display mastery in the exercise. The reason I do this is because of my belief that people attempt harder exercises to quickly, that they are not ready for, leading to injury in the present or injury in the future.
FUNCTIONAL EXERCISE – MY DEFINITION
An exercise that works the same musculature as your activity.
Performed through the required range of joint motion and producing the desired effects of its intention physiologically.
For example; a squat to produce strength, is variation of a functional exercise for skiing, due to the way your body moves up and down working the same joints (ankle, knee, hip, spine) as you do while skiing.
Now this first exercise is one I learned from Coach Ian King, who first introduced the idea of this type of exercise in the 1990’s as a control exercise, it is actually something in the past 15mths I have been using with all my clients, it is also an exercise that will cover a lot of bases to begin with… and with nothing but your own body weight.
King Single Leg Squat(1,2)
Set up a step or block that is around ankle to mid shin height to begin with (this height should be adapted to your own ability, which is why having a trainer to make sure you are doing it correctly helps, I have actually found initially it is best to start lower than higher)
• Stand to the side of the block with one foot, flat on top and the other flat on the ground – this is the start position.
• Your goal is simply to squat yourself up and down on the single leg, keeping the non squatting leg foot just off the ground the whole time through the movement once started .. easy huh?
Well probably not, no one yet I have done this with has been able to do it successfully all the way through the routine below.
• 9 squats to just above the floor each time with the non squatting foot, then hold the next squat so your non squatting foot is just above/slightly brushing the ground for 10 seconds and then repeat the series 4 more times without stopping.
• You go slow and stay in control this is not a race
• Your squatting knee stays in alignment with your foot
• Your hips stay even and aren’t allowed to drop, to monitor this hold your fingers on the 2 boney points of your hips in the front and watch to see if one side drops lower than the other.
• Excessive bending forward, hold a tall sternum up posture the whole way through the movement
• Your knee initiates the movement by bending first, not sitting backwards as many people try to do
• Anyone with prior knee or ankle injuries need to be cleared first to do this, as poor control could result in injury, actually I would say everyone should be checked for good form regardless, as while it is easy to write and read about, it’s another thing to see and do it correctly.
• Stop once form deteriorates
This exercise when done correctly, will help with your strength, balance and also address some imbalances between strong and weak sides of the body.
Try it !
1. King Ian, Legacy Unit 8 – Physical Qualities, KSI Legacy Course 2011
2. King, Ian.,Legacy Unit 21-Strength Training Methods, KSI Legacy Course 2011
Jason is KX’s Advanced Personal Trainer, with extensive experience bringing the required knowledge for client to succeed! Of New Zealand roots, Jason’s specialties include ski & snowboard related training, postural correction, lower back rehabilitation and active release therapy.
• KX Advanced PT
o General Fitness
o Ski/snowboard Specific
o Postural Correction and Lower Back Rehabilitation
o Active Release Therapy