Saturday, December 29, 2012

It is Time To Get Into Ski Shape

With us finally getting some snow in Colorado it is time to get ready top hit the slopes.  While some have probably already done that, I have never been much for December skiing due to the cold and usually poor snow.  Generally ski season starts for me in January.

Which means if you have not already started to figure out how you are going to get rid of those holiday pounds before taking on the mountains, you should get going.  I was lucky enough to jumpstart my ski conditioning with one of my favorite trainers Jamie Atlas at Bonza Bodies (  Like other ski conditioning classes I had taken before, I expected a lot of squats and lunges and other typical exercises to work your legs.  What I was pleasantly surprised with is that Jamie didn’t have us just do the typical exercises and we didn’t just jump into exercises as soon as we arrived.
Instead Jamie spent some time talking about the concept of “specific” exercises for the activity you are training for.  For example if you want to be a better cyclist then spinning or time on an exercise bike makes sense, but while it helps some of the same muscles that are used in skiing the movement is not “skiing-specific.”

In fact it was really interesting to compare Jamie’s ideas, which really resonated with me, with an article I had just read in the December 2012 ski magazine entitled “The Machine Age.”  In that article author Kellee Katagi talked about the gym machines that work best for skiers.  Now anyone who has read what I have written before know that I am pretty anti-gym machine and prefer body weight exercises because rather than isolating muscles they integrate them so you can imagine my bias against this article.  That being said it was interesting to see Ski magazine stating this was a good way to get ready for the ski season when almost everything they said contrasted with what Jamie had to say.

So that you can get the same experience that I did, Jamie was nice enough to make two videos embedded below that cover some of these concepts as well as show some of the skier specific exercises he had us perform.  Bottom line I think if you are going to get ready for ski season you should do exercises that will actually help YOUR skiing.