The time to complete two sets each of these eight strength building exercises is about 45 minutes, if you rest two minutes between sets. If you are not certain how to perform the free-weight exercises with proper technique, please send a self-address and stamped envelope to Wayne Westcott, South Shore YMCA, 79 Coddington Street, Quincy, MA 02169.
Joint flexibility is another fitness component that can have a positive influence on your skiing performance. This is particularly applicable to the hip and trunk region of the body, where most of the twisting action occurs. Although you may include a variety of flexibility exercises in your training program, perhaps the single most useful ski stretch is the T-stretch. To do this stretch properly, lie face-up on the carpet with your legs straight and your arms straight out to the sides like the letter T. Slowly raise your right leg as high as possible, then cross it over your body and attempt to touch your right foot to your left hand. You should feel a gentle pull through your thigh, hip, and lower back as you hold the fully-stretched position for about 30 seconds. Return your right leg to the starting position. Now do the same movement with your left leg, and hold the fully-stretched position for about 30 seconds. Repeat the stretch three times to each side, and do this exercise every day if possible.
This ski-conditioning program should help you enjoy a more active, high-performance, injury-free season on your favorite slopes. In addition, if you follow the program consistently for the next two months, you should add 2 to 4 pounds of muscle and lose 4 to 6 pounds of fat. So take your calendar and mark off your training sessions now. Once you complete a couple weeks of workouts, you should begin to see some significant improvements in your cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, and joint flexibility.
Wayne L. Westcott, Ph.D., is fitness research director at the South
Shore YMCA in Quincy, MA., and author of several fitness books
including the new releases, Building Strength and Stamina and Strength
Training Past 50.
© 2000 Wayne L. Westcott, Ph.D. all rights reserved