Montana State University

Mountains and Minds

MSU Experts' top 10 suggestions to improve your skiing performance October 13, 2010 By Dan Heil and John Seifert • Published 10/13/10

From Dan Heil

1. Beginner and intermediate skiers should consider early season dry land or on-snow workouts with a local ski coach. A good coach and training partner can really help improve skiing fitness and technique, both of which will enhance the enjoyment of skiing and decrease the risk for injuries.

2. Summer and fall are the times to maximize your muscular and cardiovascular fitness for winter skiing. Alternatively, planning to ski yourself into shape is a perfect way to ruin your entire winter with early season sickness or injury.

3. Keep pumping iron. The older we get, the more important regular weight training becomes to maintaining muscular fitness and maximizing injury prevention.

4. Plan ahead for daily nutrition and hydration recovery. Whether skiing for fun or performance, skiing day after day is best achieved when there is a plan for nutrition and hydration before, during and after each bout of skiing.

5. Nordic skiers should consider entering at least one local ski race each winter. Whether the race is for fun or age-group awards, entering a race has a unique way of focusing your training and equipment preparations that casual skiing does not.

From John Seifert

6. Training for the downhill ski season should include three or four days each week of endurance training, with power and strength training once or twice each week. Endurance training is essential for recovery between runs, while power and strength training are important for executing certain movements during skiing and reducing the risk of injuries.

7. Be sure to include exercises for the abdominal and lower back muscles prior to the start of the ski season. Strengthening these muscles will aid in maintaining good ski posture.

8. If you plan to buy skis, try a number of ,pairs to get the feel of each pair and which one best suits your needs and style. How you perceive and respond to skis may be very different from how your friends do.

9. Take a snow safety course through an avalanche center or another reputable group. With an increasing number of people venturing outside of ski areas to ski, snow knowledge and safety should be top priorities. Remember, there are no conditions in the backcountry that are absolutely safe.

10. Regardless of your skill level, consider taking a lesson or two from a professional instructor to improve your abilities.