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To Expert Skiing

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Jim Safianuk
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The Road to Expert Skiing



Imagine yourself cruising down a groomed run carving elegant turns with your new shaped skis. In the distance you see two symbols, a blue square for a left turn and a black diamond for a right turn. Without hesitation you steer to the right. The pitch becomes steeper, the snow is un-groomed, and there are trees, lots of trees. You stop momentarily, pick a line, push off, and tighten your turns as you begin the descent.



Many skiers would have taken the left fork with the gentle groomed slope. Some intermediates reach a plateau in their ability and find it difficult to advance to the next level. This doesn't have to be. The keys to unlocking your true potential lie in your mind and body. When you are physically fit and mentally prepared the goal of becoming an advanced level skier can be realized.



Skiing at an advanced level means being adept at handling varied terrain in different snow conditions on marked trails. The terrain may include steeps, glades, or moguls. Snow conditions might include hard pack, crud, ice, or powder. At this level you need to be able to make quick adjustments to your speed, turn radius and balance to maintain control at all times.



Ski Fitness Level

Advanced level skiing is more demanding on the knees, thighs, hips, abdomen, and back so preseason preparation is the norm. Try to begin your ski fitness program at least two to three months prior to your first day on the slopes. Your routine should include stretching for mobility, strength exercises for staying power, and cardiovascular conditioning for endurance.



The good news is that you don't need a lot of money to finance your program. All you'll need is a mat, free weights, runners, and an hour a day. One approach is to do stretches and strength exercises the first day followed by stretching and cardiovascular conditioning the next day. By alternating your workouts you can reduce the time spent each day and give the different muscle groups a chance to recover.



Stretching

Improved mobility will do more to improve your skiing then you think and it will help protect you from injury. The areas to concentrate on are the back, calves, hamstrings, quads, and shoulders.



A good book on the subject is Stretching by Bob Anderson (Shelter Publications, Inc. 1988). It has specific stretches for downhill skiing, weight training, walking, and running. You may want to include the stretches for weight training in your fall routine and do the downhill stretches during the ski season.



Strength

These exercises will improve your ability to ski short-radius turns through enhanced staying power and impact absorption while minimizing muscle fatigue and soreness. The strength session should include calf raises, partial squats for the quads, and abdominal exercises for the stomach, sides, and back. Include weight training for the arms, chest, and shoulders using dumbbells and barbells.



Rotate through the exercises working one muscle group while the other groups are in the recovery mode. Perform a leg exercise, a weight maneuver, and then an abdominal exercise.



Endurance

This is the ability to perform at a given level for greater periods of time. Endurance is important for those long mogul and glade runs that never seem to end. To improve endurance the focus is on cardiovascular conditioning. Exercise three times a week keeping your heart rate elevated for fifteen to twenty minutes. Good ways to do this are cycling, inline skating, rowing, jogging, or general aerobics. An alternative to running is a brisk, forty-five minute, non-stop walk.



Mind-Set

You won't need a treatise on the latest breakthrough in the psychological aspects of fear to conquer the steeps, glades, and moguls. The old adage, you have nothing to fear but fear itself, applies to skiing. Mental toughness and focus are essential to master your subconscious mind.








Jim Safianuk
http://www.new-dating.com/search.php

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