How to Stay in Ski Shape

Cross-Training Pro Tips from Dryland Coaches

Hiking and biking may be part of your weekly summer season repertoire. But are your off-season activities setting you up for success on the slopes this winter? 

We called on Dryland Fitness trainers and coaches for their top tips on staying in peak ski shape. Here’s what they had to say:

Director of Performance at Breckenridge Dryland Fitness Linzee Vito-Salmon shares her formula for strength and recovery

  • Building strength and muscular endurance during summer will help prepare you for long trails and more challenging terrain once the snow starts falling again.
  • Continue to stretch. Staying limber doesn’t just impact how you feel, but it is a great injury prevention tool.
  • Remember, recovery is just as important as training and the sports and activities that we love. Make sure that you are getting enough sleep, eating properly to fuel your performances and pushing the limit, but never pushing injuries.

Linzee suggests pairing Dryland strength classes with endurance classes for max results. “If you can work Brick Haus and Enduro Zone into your schedule, it will give you a slight edge to your upcoming ski and snowboard season,” she says.

Assistant General Manager at Gravity Haus Denver Amy Peterson dishes on core and cardio

  • Practice stability exercises. Because cruising down a mountain requires a great deal of coordination and balance, it’s crucial to work on stability. Try plank shoulder taps to stabilize the upper body. 
  • Keep that heart pumping. Get in regular steady-state cardio to maintain endurance needed for winter sports. Aim for a couple of HIIT classes per week, alongside that steady-state cardio (25-40 minutes at moderate intensity) will help shape your overall endurance and keep you in tip-top shape.
  • Core, core, core. There’s a reason why people say the core is the most important part of exercise — it is the center of where everything begins and the first thing to lead to injury when not properly strengthened. Exercise your core at least 4 times per week.

Most importantly, Amy says, get outside this summer and fall. Go for a run, get out on the trail and up for a hike, try standup paddle boarding to work your arms in a similar way as skiing. “Embracing the outdoors in every season will prevent you from hibernation and keep your love for the outdoors alive,” she says.

Director of Dryland Fitness & Spa Vail Jen Razee tells us how to keep it fun, smart and social

  • Don’t specialize. Embrace the seasonality and enjoy the activity that gets you outside. Hiking and cycling uphill are posterior chain and quad-engaging activities that translate to peak winter sport fitness.
  • Keep a consistent strength routine. Even just one class or focused functional strength per week will maintain strength, bone density and reduce the opportunity for injury as we age. Ramp this to 2 or 3 times per week as the leaves start to turn.
  • Prehab so you don’t have to rehab. Summer is a great opportunity to work on a weakness for your primary winter sport. Start a regular yoga practice to improve range of motion. Engage in self care with a massage routine and embrace self-guided recovery modalities like percussion and compression.
  • Make it social. Choose people who make you better and are up for the adventure. 

“Whether it’s hiking your first 14’er, taking on some whitewater or trying a new mountain bike trail, your Gravity Haus community is here to support a new challenge,” Jen says. “And we’ll be ready to cheers the first snow of the season with you!”

Remember, #DoYourDryland, train smarter and play harder! We’ll see you out there.

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