Read these 8 Ski Balance Training Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Balance tips and hundreds of other topics.
You can use the Skii Trikke to help improve balance and coordination, but you will probably use it just for fun. Take it to the slopes. It is an adaptation for use on snow of the Trikke, with the same 3-point cambering system proven on the streets. You stand on the platform, steer with the handlebars, and shift your weight to carve those turns.
Endurance is a combination of both your cardiovascular fitness and your body's ability to withstand the musculoskeletal rigors of an activity. As such, a solid base of aerobic fitness is essential to alpine skiing. Varying the intensity of your workouts through interval training has been proven in many studies to provide the best results. To develop cardiovascular endurance, be sure to do an aerobic activity for 40 to 60 minutes regularly – at least three times a week. Good choices for building endurance include swimming, mountain biking, inline skating, running, hiking, basketball, soccer and tennis. Note that performing each of these sports requires balance and coordination, a strong core, and flexibility. Therefore, balance training is an integral part of developing the kind of aerobic fitness you will need to build real endurance.
Having a good range of movement in your joints will help your body adjust to sudden changes in direction, and can also help prevent injury when you fall. Concentrate on hip flexibility, loosening your hamstrings, and increasing the range of motion in your upper body. Traditional stretching will help, but you may find that you get more benefits from a discipline such as yoga or Pilates that also addresses body alignment, balance, and strength – other key components of a ski training regimen.
Functional strength training is the counterpart to flexibility training; flexibility training will help you to increase your range of motion, and strength will make sure your can control that motion. Many avid skiers use traditional strength training and concentrate on isolating and developing their quad muscles. Not only does this neglect the opposing hamstring muscles, but it will create an imbalance in how your leg muscles work together. Therefore, use functional training to develop your core strength and stability, then develop your quads, hamstrings and calves to create the full suite of muscle power you will need for a great ski season.
The point of skiing is to make it down the hill – preferably, remaining on your feet! Without balance and coordination, you will fall down a lot, making the experience less fun and more dangerous. Balance training using such tools as balance boards, Bongo boards, and Swiss balls will help you develop your balance – as well as improve your range of motion and core strength. Other activities that will help you develop your balance in dynamic settings include inline skating, trail running and jumping rope.
In preparation for a fun and safe ski season, athletes should focus on balance and coordination, flexibility, strength, endurance, and speed. Functional training incorporating balance training will help skiers with the first four, and developing those will positively affect your speed. Moreover, coordinated, strong skiers are less likely to fall and sustain an injury that could cut the season short.
Having “quick feet” and good control over your lower body movements is how you prevent your skis from taking you for a ride. Lateral movements are an important control mechanism during skiing (as well as other sports, such as soccer and basketball), and many injuries occur during lateral movements. Therefore, it is important to build lower body stability and flexibility to ski effectively and safely. You can build this stability through balance training; using a Bongo board is a great way to develop lateral range of motion and coordination. Another excellent ski training tool is the pro fitter trainer which simulates the motion of skiing. Quick lateral movements can be ingrained by placing a pillow on the floor and hoping sideways from foot to foot while maintaining a balanced upper body. Other training regimens to develop lateral stability include lateral hops and obstacle courses that incorporate changes of direction.