It’s easy to get fired up about ski workouts in October. But by February or March, when the snow is swirling and you’re finding your rhythm on the hill, it’s easy to abandon the gym altogether. Don’t.
To finish the season strong and injury-free, maintain two or three off-hill training sessions each week. Just make sure to vary the routine with different exercises: It’s tough to stay motivated when you’re slogging through the same exercises week after week. (Research shows that people stick with varied workouts longer than repetitious ones.)
Adding new drills can also make you more agile on the mountain, says Alex Chemerov, owner of Discover Movement, a New York–based athletic training and consulting company that works with many snowsport athletes.
It works like this: Your nervous system controls all movement, both voluntary and involuntary. If it has encountered a certain movement before, it can usually repeat it more quickly and efficiently the next time. So the wider the variety of exercises you’ve done off skis, the more your body will be ready for on skis. “The greater your movement vocabulary, the greater the language of skiing,” Chemerov says.
Effective midseason workouts also have a lower volume and load than preseason training sessions, in which you’re trying to build strength. “You can cripple yourself during the season if you’re lifting too much weight,” Chemerov says. Use lighter weights for the following workout, which fends off injury by improving flexibility, balance and core strength—and by keeping the muscles you use when you ski from overpowering those you don’t.
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