The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics have sparked an interest in ski vacations this winter. Winter Olympic Sports Physiotherapist Peter Hogg from Thredbo and Noosa has designed a six-week conditioning program that can help you prepare for winter sport – either skiing or snowboarding. Preparation is essential so that you can make the most of your snow time and prevent injury.
According to Peter Hogg there are four key benefits to ‘getting fitter for the snow’.
1. Improved cardio endurance to last longer on the snow and reduce incidence of injuries at end of day.
2. Ski / snowboard specific muscle strength conditioning to reduce muscle soreness.
3. Improved foot speed and coordination to improve reaction time.
4. Injury prevention and rehabilitation.
The program design
Designing a preseason program should ideally be personally tailored however there are a number of fundamental exercises that can be included in most programs. Peter Hogg has selected some of his favorites that he has prescribed over ten years of winter athlete training. Most of these exercises can be performed at home or in the park with minimal equipment and expense. Most people do have access to a Swiss Ball and bike. Peter has also utilized a 4kg medicine ball to add a little resistance. For best results the circuit program can be completed twice to three times weekly. The bike session can compliment the circuit and should be done at least once per week. Each week a new set of drills is provided.
Each participant in this program should have reasonable fitness. You should be able to do five press-ups, squat to 90° without significant pain and cope with abdominal curl ups. If you have an injury, you are advised to consult with a sports physiotherapist such that you understand your diagnosis and its constraints. If you have a history of sudden death before age forty in your family you are recommended to see your doctor before participation. Other than that, you have to be sensible!
Tailoring the exercises program to you
The program runs for six weeks and should conclude in July when most people visit the snow for the first time. The volume of exercises can be tailored to your fitness level – much like cooking, once you know the basic ingredients you can spice things up to suit your taste. For example, if you are fit and cross training with other sport, you may attempt to do three sets of the circuit. If you are a beginner you may alternate between week one and two for the entire six week period. If you have some joint issues that don’t tolerate the impact then you are best advised avoid week six such that you don’t aggravate your condition (s).
Should you start the program late, it is suggested you start with the week 1 routine.
Should you have an injury or other health concerns, it is sensible to consult with your physiotherapist or doctor before commencing.
APA Titled Sports Physiotherapist
Coordinator of Sports Physiotherapy for OWI
OWI Sports Physiotherapist 2002, 2006 & 2010
Private Practitioner – Thredbo Altitude Physio & Noosa Sports & Spinal Physio
Ball Wall Squat. 3 sets of 15 reps
Calf raises. 3 sets of 15 reps
Knee tucks. 3 sets of 15 reps
Pike with swiss ball. 3 sets of 15 reps
Hamstring bridge curls. 3 sets of 15 reps
Ball roll outs. 3 sets of 15 reps
Alternate arm leg raises. 15 each side
Ball rotation with medicine ball. 3 sets of 20 reps side to side
Plank. 2 sets of 30 seconds hold
Kneeling balance on swiss ball. 2 sets of 60 seconds hold