Early Season Drill: Thousand Steps

The Thousand Steps Ski Drill is my favorite early season drill to get everything warmed up and working together.  It’s a popular exercise in instructional and coaching circles because it works all four major skiing skills – Balance, Edging, Rotation, and Pressure Control.

Select a wide green or easy blue groomed slope. You can get going quite fast so pick a safe spot to do it.

Start by sliding across the hill and making a series of sidesteps up the hill. Once you get the feel for this, as you start a new turn step your downhill ski onto your little-toe edge and balance on it and step the uphill ski down the hill too. Continue stepping until you are going across the hill in the other direction and then repeat.

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Whiteface Opening Day 2012

Thursday night I arrived home to find an email from Whiteface’s snow sports school director saying the mountain was opening Saturday. Work flew by during the day on Friday in anticipation of skiing. Friday night we conducted our family ritual of tuning skis and digging through closets to collect our gear.

This morning we took it slow. We’ve learned not to hurry on opening day as things often start slowly as crews deal with last minute grooming or lift issues. There was none of that today as the new management team pulled it off without a hitch.

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Preseason Ski Workout

When I was younger I used to believe that the only workout for skiing was skiing. But as I got older I found that I had more back issues early so I started doing a simple preseason ski workout to strengthen my core. Now I feel so much better and stronger in the early season. Core strength is crucial for skiing, particularly in the bumps and in difficult conditions.

Preseason Ski Workout.
Front and Side Planks

This basic workout is not “hard core” and will work for average skiers with average fitness levels. It can be done in 15-20 minutes, 3-4 times per week. I try to do it every other day in the preseason and keep it up in the winter on days I don’t ski. The only equipment you need is a core or abs ball, some 10 lb dumb bells, and a resistance band kit. You can buy all it for about $60. You can do most of the workout while watching TV.

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