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American Council on Exercise Suggests Sport Specific Training Before Hitting the Slopes

  [ 33 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • March 19, 2003

As the winter season draws near, many will stay active, healthy and busy by engaging in winter sports. Skiing is a favorite pastime of many, but can be physically challenging. The sport requires such skills as strength, endurance, balance and coordination. To keep Americans safe this holiday season, ACE suggests beginning a sports-specific training program.

“One of the problems with most winter sports activities is their seasonal nature. It’s not uncommon for people to go five or six months with very little physical activity, then jump back onto the slopes as though they are still in ‘skiing shape’,” said Dr. Cedric Bryant, chief exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise. “No matter what your sport or activity, you’ll enjoy it more and be less likely to get injured if you spend some time getting in shape for that specific activity.”

A sports-specific training program involves focusing on the various skills associated with a particular activity. It improves and increases cardio-respiratory endurance, muscle strength and flexibility. Depending on the sport, a specific program may maximize: agility, balance, coordination, power, speed and reaction time. Most sports require a mixture of these components, including skiing.

How to Start a Skiing Training Program

Perform wall sits to help build up the isometric strength needed for the tucked position in skiing.

Perform squats and lunges to help build lower body strength for skiing tough terrain like moguls.

Do crunches to work abdominals. It is essential in creating a solid “core” for balance and agility.

Use the slide for lateral training.

Perform one-legged squats to develop balance and strength.

Use a step-bench platform to improve power.

Try catching a bean bag as it drops off your forearm to improve reaction time.

Bounce a tennis ball with each hand simultaneously to improve coordination.

Create your own slalom and run between to improve agility.

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