Get Ski Season Ready with Olympian Sean Smith
Each year we turn to the king of moguls to help us get in shape for ski season. Sean Smith is a former Olympic Freestyle and Mogul Skier who learned to ski on Utah snow. He attended the University of Utah while training for, and competing in, the Winter Olympics. He placed 13th in the mogul competition in the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. He now combines his passion for skiing and his love for the outdoors as the Outfitter at Promontory Club. Promontory Members get the opportunity to ski and snowmobile with Sean in the winter, go boating on Promontory’s private speedboat in the summer and so much more.
Ski Tip #3 Balance Squat
Before we hit the slopes we have to make sure we condition our body so we aren’t hobbling around after our first ski week! When it comes to skiing, your quads are arguably one of the most important muscles so this week it’s all about your legs! Former Olympic Skier and Promontory Outfitter, Sean Smith, shows us a simple exercise that can be done in your home or at the gym, the BALANCE SQUAT. This exercise works one leg at a time which is very important because it strengthens your legs properly for skiing and helps improve your balance at the same time. Not only will this exercise work your quads but also your glutes and hamstrings. All you need is a low bench or chair, even your stairs could work but whatever you choose make sure that the height of the bench or seat of the chair isn’t higher than your knees.
OK are you ready?! Here we go!
Put the bench behind you, take a good step forward with your right leg and put your left foot on the bench, the top of your foot will just rest on the bench. Now you will begin your squats, bringing your left knee as close to the floor as possible without touching it and keeping your right knee over the ankle, do not let it jet out over your toes. This will protect and prolong the life of your knees and we all know how important that is! Keep your chest up, arms strong to your sides, and eyes forward as you continue your squats. For beginners, do two sets of eight reps on each leg. For those of you who are more advanced, increase the reps and sets according to your level and ability. After you do your first set of eight (or whatever amount your have chosen) switch to the next leg – step your left foot out keeping your knee tracking over the ankle and your right foot will rest on the bench. Do eight reps on this leg then switch back to your right for the second set of eight and then back to your left leg for the final set of eight.
As you get stronger from the balance squats, add dumbbells or kettlebells to make it more difficult. Hold the weights strong at the sides of your body and do the workout as listed above. The weights will take you down to the ground (but don’t let that knee touch) and make it harder for you to lift up out of that squat which will really strengthen those core ski muscles.
Good luck, workout hard, and we will see you next week for another ski workout session with Sean!
Ski Tip #2
Ski season is just around the corner and Sean is helping us get ready for it. For these two workouts you will need a step stool, box, a low bench or you can even use your stairs. The first workout is a simple step up which helps your balance and strengthens your quads and glutes one leg at a time. How to do the step up: Place one leg on the box and step up with your other leg bringing it up as high as you can. Keep the the same leg on the box and continue to step up with the opposite leg bringing it into a high knee position for at least 15-20 reps on each leg.
Once you are more advanced you can do the box jump. This is a plyometric move that helps the explosive part of the muscle work and will give you power on the slopes. How to do the box jumps: Start with your left foot on the box and your right foot on the floor to the right of the box. Then jump up and switch feet on the box now placing your right foot on the box and your left foot on the floor to the left side of the box. You will continue this pattern for 15-20 reps on each leg or as many as you can do. This exercise is a ski type movement with independent leg action and will not only strengthen the muscles you need for skiing but also give you a great cardio workout. Keep your hands in ski pole position, chest up, eyes up and envision yourself flying down the mountain as you do this exercise.
Check back next week for more ski workouts with Sean. Until then, happy training!
Ski season is less than two months away and Promontory’s Outfitter and Olympian, Sean Smith, is getting you in shape with the Skier’s Edge! The Skier’s Edge is a great machine to increase your stamina and fine-tune your technique. Watch as Sean teaches you how to properly use the machine and shows you the correct form at beginner and advanced levels. You can find the Skier’s Edge machine in the Ranch Clubhouse Gym.