We have two reasons to train in the gym for skiing. One is to prevent injury, and the other is to actually improve your performance. Why don't we focus on the number one priority and take a deeper look at injury prevention for skiers?
As waterski athletes, we are battling a 450 HP beast of a boat, slamming into the wakes, and sometimes even a jump ramp! We are insane, and our bodies, are actually amazing for enabling us to do this. To prevent injury we must identify and manage our unique imbalances. This can be done with a physiotherapist or sometimes in your gym or health centre. Having a look at your movement patterns, a biomechanics expert will be able to tell you your areas of weakness, and most likely set you up some specific exercises to work on the problem areas.
Common problems related to skiing are elbow tendonitis, IT band tightness, lower back pain, and neck issues. My favourite body maintenance tools that I use on a daily basis are the Foam Roller, and the Indo Board. A roller is a self-massage tool you can use on your hips, back, neck, and lat muscles. The Indo Board is great for working on all the small stabilizers in your ankles, knees, hips, and core.
In my weekly training routines, I utilize Pilates, and Yoga to keep my body in alignment and work through the soreness and tension created from skiing. I like a light 30-minute yoga session in the morning to get the blood flowing. Once or twice a week I will include a longer 1 hour Yoga session to really dig deep and work through some of the issues. Tim Senesi is one of my favourite teachers, and he has a nice 30 Min yoga video on Youtube that’s free for all of us to use! Pilates can be a nice addition to your core workout or even a quick blast that you can include any time. Of course, you can hit the gym or the studio, but why not start with looking up some videos on Youtube! Start with the basics, and work up to something more hardcore if you choose.
Last but not least! Find a Massage Therapist, and visit as often as possible! Our sport is insane and our bodies take a beating. We deserve it. If cash is the issue, grab some bags of ice on your way home from the lake and treat yourself to an ice bath. Follow that up with an Epsom salt bath for the faster road to recovery.
Get after it and take care of yourself. If you do, who knows how long you can continue to do the coolest sport on the planet.