Physical preparation before the ski season

Physical preparation before the ski season

How to learn to ski: tips from an instructor

Anton Yakovina head of the ski school

Alpine skiing is a projectile that is best mastered under someone's careful guidance. Just like a car. Or a plane. It would never occur to you to learn how to fly an airplane yourself? Professional instructor Anton Yakovina talks about the main mistakes that beginner skiers make. Now, at the start of the season, the instructor's advice will help you feel more confident skiing.

A correct driving scheme exists. See how athletes ride in competitions: so beautiful, so easy. At the same time, no matter how you look, it is almost impossible to understand exactly how they do it.

Those who have tried to learn something by just peeping at expert skiers know what I'm talking about. It is difficult to isolate elements from their cohesive movements without knowing what the key is. But even "pure" beginners, looking at the skating of the masters, will notice that they move, in general, the same way.

That's right. The athletes were taught movements according to the same correct driving pattern. It is built on the laws of physics and mechanics, which obey all moving bodies in our world. All experts ride in accordance with physics, and therefore it is easy for them, like fish in water or birds in flight. All teapots are trying to fight physics - out of ignorance.

Intuitively mastering alpine skiing is difficult, almost impossible. We walk through life, not slide. The walking experience at our disposal, as well as the completely natural fear of acceleration on a slope, makes us do not at all the movements that the skis require of us. There are only six of these correct movements. But they are all fundamental.

The Little Finger Rule, or How to Turn Over

All amateur skiers dream of taking turns, deeply "laying down" on the bend, almost touching the snow with their thighs, like athletes on a giant slalom track. However, this beauty does not shine for you if your shins stand with the letter "A" in the turn. This is a classic mistake made by 90% of recreational skiers, even experienced skiers - in fact, the shins should be parallel.

It arises because amateurs start edging from the support leg, from the ski, which goes down the slope in an arc. Intuitively: on this ski all the weight, and turn it over. But here intuition fails. The control link in our system is not the support ski, but the unloaded ski. By analogy with a car: we turn the steering wheel, not the wheel itself. Wrong movement does not allow progress, and you are "poorly gripped by the edges."

Exercise. Drive straight down on a gentle slope. Sit down slightly, relax one leg, lift your heel and take your knee to the side. Run the toe of the ski in the snow with the outside of your foot, where your little toe is. You will find that your skis will immediately begin to turn, the supporting leg will begin to deviate in the same direction.


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Mountain running differs from running on asphalt in that such qualities as running economy and the efficiency of the lower leg muscles do not play a big role here. That is, on the asphalt, with proper leg work, a lot of energy is stored in the muscles and tendons (as in a stretched rubber band), which then, when pushed, “shoots back”. This is practically not the case in mountain running. Therefore, for successful performance in mountain running and trails, the following qualities are necessary: ​​

- high maximum oxygen consumption (can be compared with the engine power of a car);

- good strength endurance.

Maximum oxygen consumption

Maximum oxygen consumption (MOC) shows how much energy we can produce by oxygen, through the oxidation of carbohydrates and fats. The higher our VO2 max, the less oxygen debt we have, or it is formed, but much later! All top trail runners and mountain runners have a high VO2 max, while top runners on asphalt do not always have a high VO2 max, which confirms my words.

Therefore, this is my deep conviction, based on an understanding of the work of our body, preparation for a trail or mountain run should begin precisely with “pumping” the VO2 max, this will be the basis, or foundation, on which we can develop already and anaerobic threshold and vertical speed and strength endurance.

In general, up to a certain level, the VO2 max grows on its own without special training aimed at its growth, since they are quite specific and are rarely performed by amateurs, for sure!

Here we are on the verge of the start of the ski season, but before heading to the snowy slopes, you need to prepare. Our muscles need to be trained and strengthened so that riding is fun, and not started with sprains or, even worse, injuries. It is necessary to load certain muscle groups - these are the legs, arms, abs, and prepare the ligaments of the ankle joint for sharp turns and physical exertion.

A small set of exercises, which can be performed at home, will help strengthen your body, train your sense of balance and vestibular apparatus. This set of exercises will take you no more than half an hour, or even less, the main condition is mandatory daily exercises. The amount of time spent will depend on the number of approaches, but in any case, training will be of great benefit.

It is very important to start your workout with a warm-up in order to properly warm up your muscles. Exercises should be performed smoothly, calmly, without making sudden movements, tighten the muscles slowly, without jerking. It is best to start with exercises for the legs, then the press and back, and then exercises for balance and end the complex with stretching.

Leg Block

You need to start with simple exercises that will help warm up the muscles and prepare the ligaments. All exercises are performed 8-10 times.

Stand straight, put your feet shoulder-width apart, and lower your arms along your torso, slowly raise your arms above your head and at the same time rise on your toes, inhaling, then return your arms to their original position - hands down, while lowering full foot and exhaling. Stand up straight, place your hands on your belt and slowly rise on your toes while inhaling. Then squat without dropping on your feet, and from a sitting position rise, slowly lowering your heels to the floor, while exhaling. Stand straight and, alternately raising your legs forward, rotate your foot to the right and left.

When doing the exercises, watch your toes, as it is very important not to curl your toes in your boots when riding on a slope - this is a mistake often found among beginners. If you follow your toes during exercise, your foot will be in the correct position while rolling. Calf raises and rotational foot movements will help strengthen your ankle ligaments and prepare them for more stress.

In order to prepare their feet well for skiing on the slopes, winter sports fans need to strengthen both the inner and outer thighs. It is these muscles that will help keep the legs in the correct position during the descent from the mountain.

Do the curl squat. To do this, do deep squats, while simultaneously turning your knees, first to the right and then to the left. During squats, the feet should not change position, and the arms should be turned in the direction opposite to the direction of the knees. The next exercise also begins with a squat, but after you have squatted, turn your knees first to the right and then to the left. After that, return to the starting position and stand up. Now do the same squats, only adding bounces. First, do a squat, then make a turn of the knees with a jump to the right, then with a jump to the left, then straighten up again.

The next exercise is known as the pistol squat on one leg with the other leg straight and forward. It is imperative not to lift the heel off the floor, keeping on a full foot. For those who find it difficult at first, you can hold on to the back of the chair, and then gradually complete the exercise completely. Get into a static skier pose and try to hold it for 40 seconds. Then add bounces with a deep squat, alternating skier pose with bounces. Now you can add walking and running in place. They need to be performed with a high rise of the knees. You can use a stool or chair to raise your legs, then try to climb onto the chair without using your hands.

Hand Exercise Block

Going to conquer your first mountain peak? Or have you climbed the mountains more than once? In any case, you need to prepare for Elbrus. After all, it depends on your physical condition how successful the hike will be. And not just successful, but enjoyable! In this article we will consider all the features of preparation for climbing Elbrus. Based on the programs presented below, you can bring your physical condition to the optimum. And you will also understand how to correctly assess readiness. The article will be useful to absolutely everyone. Including even instructors who periodically accompany tourists in the mountains.

If you are already ready to go to Elbrus with us, then just leave a request and the manager will select the best route and time for you.

Preparing for Elbrus: background information

Climbing this highest European peak is carried out from three cardinal points:

  • north ;
  • south ;
  • east.

There is no need to talk about any technical difficulties. Since true mountaineering skills are not required on any of the routes. Mountain conquerors will not have to climb steep cliffs and ice hummocks.

However, physical readiness must be high enough. This is due not only to the constant uphill climb. It should not be forgotten that the mountain conqueror will definitely have a backpack behind him. There are no smooth cobbled sidewalks here. You will have to go along the paths dotted with stones, ice blocks and simply covered with snow. Which is no longer easy.

And that's not the most difficult part. Almost half of all the body's forces will go away only due to the fact that there is thin air around. Even if a person arrives at the place in advance for acclimatization, this will not save on the slopes during the hike.

Don't panic!

However, you shouldn't be afraid of climbing. If the correct preparation for Elbrus is carried out, no difficulties will arise. As practice shows, any person who does not have obvious health problems manages to conquer the mountain. Some cope with the task, without even training before it.

You can walk the route and conquer the mountain in absolutely different ways. Go and enjoy the wonderful mountain views. Or you can hardly move your legs, reproaching yourself for the decision to go on a hike.

The first option is available to those who realized that preparing for the ascent of Elbrus is an important stage in the conquest of the summit. The second option is for those who have decided that they can cope without training.

Every year more and more people go on weekend ski trips. However, not all "beginners", tuned in to the romance of a camping life, are able to appreciate all the delights of winter activity: where experienced tourists enjoy every minute, the unfortunate ones count the minutes until they return home, languishing with fatigue.

And often it's not about poor physical fitness, but about improperly assembled equipment (try to break the track in falling skis, and you will understand what it is about).

In order not to join the ranks of the unfortunate, before the hike, study the route and select the appropriate equipment. And believe me, the euphoria from the ski trip will not last until the next outing.

Preparing and organizing a ski trip

To enjoy your vacation and return home in good health, organize your trip properly. First, decide what you are putting on your skis for. It can be a leisurely ski trip, for the sake of admiring the surrounding beauty, ice fishing, hunting or sports. The purpose of the sortie is determined by:

  • the amount of food and water;
  • the contents of the first aid kit;
  • the components of the ski equipment;
  • the need for ski equipment ...

Remember! Most of the path is linear or circular.

A topographic or digital map (alternatively, Google Earth Pro) is suitable for planning stops. A satellite map will allow you to assess the type of relief, consider a convenient road shortening the route. Mark landmarks, resting places and overnight stays, if any, are provided for the hike. Calculate the time it will take to overcome this or that segment of the path.

It would be nice to scan the vastness of the World Wide Web, study the diaries of travelers who have been to the places of the upcoming campaign. This will allow you to choose the most suitable ski equipment, speed up your movement, and reduce the risk of force majeure situations.

Having decided on the route, determine the level of difficulty of the route. The most extreme regions include:

  • Yakutia.
  • Chukotka.
  • Ural.
  • Altai.
  • Eastern Sayan.
  • Baikal region.
  • Transbaikalia.
  • Kamchatka.
  • Taimyr.

The listed regions require endurance, self-confidence, impeccable study of the route, selection of suitable equipment. So for an inexperienced skier it is better to refrain from a solo hike.

The path should be continuous and smooth, with a minimum number of radial exits. Remember to distribute loads and natural obstacles evenly.

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