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Skiing Strength

In this section we shall cover the relative importance of both muscular strength and muscular endurance in skiing.

Muscular strength is the amount force a muscle can exert against resistance. Muscular endurance, on the other hand, is how long a workload can be sustained for before fatigue sets in.

At lower levels, the muscular strength required to propel your own body and equipment down the mountain is relatively small. But at advanced levels, the forces can be considerably greater. For example, a fast carved turn can create loads of up to 3 times that of gravity (3g).

Once again, it will depend on your current fitness level and the type of skiing you do as to what type of strength training will benefit you most.

However, for the majority of recreational skiers, muscular endurance is generally more important than strength. Unless, of course, you are seriously out of condition. For example, if you are not able to do a single press-up, then getting up after a fall will be very difficult.

Similarly, if youíre struggling to do one or two bent-leg sit-ups, this indicates a weakness in your abdominal muscles which will have an adverse affect on your posture and balance.

The main muscle groups used in skiing are the quadriceps (thighs), abdominals and back muscles. All of these muscle groups should be developed by endurance training. This can be done in the gym by performing a higher number of repetitions with a lower weight (resistance).

Squats: 10-12 reps using a relatively light weight (roughly 60% of your maximum). Sink down slowly keeping back straight, until your knees are lower than your hips then really use your legs to power upwards quickly.

Lunges: 12 reps (6 on each leg). Lunge forward slowly then really push back hard to the starting position.

Sit-ups: 20-30 reps. If possible, do these while sitting on a fitball.

Superman: Lying face down on a fitball and try to balance on it with your body straightened out as if flying like superman.

These exercise are all described in more detials in our

If you donít want to use weights then squat jumps are very good for building powerful thigh muscles. Just be sure to bend your legs when you land - the best way to think of this is to try to make as little noise as you land as possible.

Plyometric exercises are also good for skiers. Remember to do a dynamic warm up beforehand and always use a soft surface such as grass. Try to keep your ground contact to a minimum so as soon as you land you start exploding into the next jump. Try 6 jumps of each of the following:

Both feet forwards

Single leg forwards (both sides)

12 diagonal jumps (taking off one leg and landing on the other).

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