The fitter you are, the more you'll enjoy your skiing. It's an obvious statement that every telemark skier can relate to. Like training for any specific sport it's really important to maximise your training time and get a telemark specific workout. How do we train the specific muscle groups that we use when skiing?
As with any good training programme it's essential to get the right balance of cardiovascular to resistance training with enough flexibility training thrown in.
Specificity is key, and you can't get more specific than cross-country sking, not only does it burn more calories than any other form of cardio exercise but it works all the key muscle groups, legs, adductors, abductors, glutes, quads, hamstrings and core. It also gives a good upper body workout. No snow? No Problem, get yourself some inline skates... and some pads, it's exactly the same movement pattern!
Cycling is not as specific as skating but it's still great training, it doesn't stress the joints and is a great way to strengthen up the legs. To make it more specific stay in the saddle and head for the hills, adding some intervals replicates the stop start nature of skiing, jam on the ups and free wheel on the downs.
Get yourself to a gym and get on a stepper machine, it's like walking up some never-ending stairs. Not only is the movement specific to telemark skiing but it's stress free for the joints, let go of the handles and work on your balance and core.
Circuits improve strength while also improving cardiovascular fitness, they are perfect for creating specific training programmes for all sports and telemark skiing is no exception. I like to set my intervals around sharp 1 minute bursts of intensity to mimic a telemark sprint race or simply a morning's telemark skiing. Focus on functional movements that are used in free heel skiiing focussing on squats, lunges, balance exercises and core strength particularly core exercises with rotation. Look out for some Tele Tracks telemark specific circuits that you can do at home or in the gym.... coming soon...
Join a circuit class and get motivated by training with others. People are often put off by circuits as they can be gruelling, the key is to pace yourself to start with, it's really motivating to feel your progress as the weeks go by. Not only will circuit training improve your cardio fitness but it'll also improve your strength - essential for a full day telemarking.
You don't have to join a class, you can easily do a circuit programme in the garden or garage, it is worth getting a programme tailored to your needs, space and equipment. Hire a PT for a session to fix one up. Personally I like to do a simple circuit alternating legs, abs, chest and back. The video clips (coming soon) show plenty of core and leg exercises for different levels of fitness, throw in some pull ups and press ups for the upper body and arms to give your legs and abs a break.
Suppleness is essential for functional joints and muscles, not only will a stretching programme help you tele ski longer and harder all day, but it will also reduce the risk of injury.
I would highly recommend getting a copy of Bob Andersons 'Stretching', it has pages of routines for different sports including alpine and cross country skiing. Get some advice from a physio if you have or have had any injuries.
Not only do you learn good technique, but training with others is usually more fun. Yoga has many benefits, I noticed huge improvements in my breathing, posture, balance, body awareness, strength and mental focus - all of which have helped every sport I play - especially telemark skiing.
Specific strength training for telemark skiing centres on legs and core. Tele Tracks is in the proces of compiling some video clips running through exercise progessions for both legs and core ... coming soon.
Coming soon... in the meantime here's some great resources from the States...
Telemark Fitness Ski Training from Jeff Eckhouse
Telemark Ski Workout - a 3 minute race specific workout, that you can take into the gym.
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Great insight, Nicko got straight to the point and highlighted my flaws, then he set about constructively changing them. I can now handle the deep stuff so much better! Geoff Shepherd
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