How do you bring more power to your ski turns? This post focuses on my top six ski power movements that are going to translate onto the slopes.
Let’s talk about what these exercises look like, how to complete them properly, and then the best way to incorporate them into your training.
Plyometric Jump Up
The first exercise is a plyometric jump-up.
Start on a raised platform and you're going to jump down onto the ground.
Pretend that the ground is lava.
You're going to have a very short, quick contact time with the ground and then jump up onto a higher surface.
There are a ton of ways you can play around with this movement, but there's some safety and technique things you want to focus on.
You never want to jump off of something that you don't feel confident jumping on to. That's because you want to make sure that you're not overloading your tendons and connective tissues.
No matter what exercise or combo that you're doing, you want to make sure that your knees are tracking well over your second outside toe. You also want to make sure you are staying strong and stable in your torso without excessive bending at the waist on landing and takeoff.
Plyo loading puts an amazing amount of force through your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Make sure you are fully warm before you execute these exercises.
Creativity is your only limiter on how you can set up this exercise. You want to make sure you're not doing more than six jumps before you stop so that you are actually focusing on developing power with this set of exercises.
Hang Power Cleans
Our second exercise is hang power cleans. Now, these are very difficult to do well and people spend decades trying to perfect it.
Instead of using this exercise as a sport, we are focusing on the part that develops the most power. This can translate that onto the slopes.
Starting with a barbell or even a broomstick, what you want to do is get into your start position.
You need to have tension in your hamstrings. A tall, strong torso and shoulders pulled back down your back.
From there, without moving down, just moving up, you want to push through your toes and heels at the same time to extend those hips. This will get that weight moving up, and then you're going to dip slightly down below to catch.
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat Jump
Our third exercise to work on power for skiing is our rear foot elevated split squat jumps.
This exercise is great because it is getting us into a very compressed position and then focusing on power through our entire range of motion without adding any load necessarily.
Set up three steps away from a box, and from there you're going to place your back foot onto the box or step.
Keep your torso tall, lower with stability and strength. Lower into a position where your knee is just barely grazing the ground. We do not want to unweight here.
You want to keep your knee off the ground and floating.
From there, you're going to power up through that front leg and then lift that front leg off the ground and tuck it up underneath your hips.
When you're doing this exercise, that back leg should be floating. Focus on your front leg doing the work here.
Front Squat into a Knee Lift
Our fifth exercise to work on power for skiing is our front squat into a knee lift. You can do this one with a very light load to begin with and then start to add a little load as you get better at it.
It's another tough one, so move slowly into your front squat position. You want your elbows high, torso tall so that whatever load you are carrying is held on your shoulders, not in front of your shoulders.
From there, you're going to power out of the bottom. When you get to the top of the movement without shifting your hips very much, you're going to drive one knee up to the ceiling, then land in a stable position.
If you are shifting a lot on takeoff, it might mean you need to lower the load or you need to do these unloaded for a few reps in order to get the pattern correct.
Air Squat into Jump and Hold
Our final exercise is the air squat into jump and hold. When we're doing these for power, we increase the amount of weight we're using. From there we can do a smaller number of reps and a larger amount of rest in between each set.
How to Incorporate Power into Your Ski Training
Let's talk about how to incorporate power into your training.
Speed of movement is incredibly important. For that reason, you might want to use slightly lower amounts of weight than you would use for strength training. Also make sure that you're not doing more than six reps. If you can do more than six reps, you're not actually working on the power component of your muscular development.
You actually want to rest three to eight times the amount of time it took you to do that exercise before you begin again. If you don't rest long enough, you're not allowing the neural and physiological recovery to actually happen at the muscle level.
You also need to choose a weight that you can lift with speed. If you're finding the weight that you've chosen causes a sticking point at a certain part or if you have to move quite slow, we're not working on our power development. Lower that weight.
Incorporate these power movements into your program to get ready for ski season and let me know how it goes!