Preparing for the Ski Season

It’s all about physical fitness. It’s what allows elite skiers to compete in the most extreme conditions and at their highest levels.  An obvious way to ensure your enjoyment and performance is with the appropriate level of strength, endurance and conditioning.

A balanced program focusing on aerobic fitness, strength training, core and balance is the way to get the most out of this winter sport.

Aerobic health will allow you to enjoy a long day on the slopes.  Low and high intensity training are important to maximize the benefit.  Cross training is great for building a base of fitness.  Low intensity workouts is where you train without losing your breath. 30 -40 minutes 3 or more times per week. Examples include road and off road bikes, jogging, and swimming is great at building cardiovascular fitness.

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High intensity builds on explosive power of the anaerobic system. Interval exercises will improve stamina, strength, and speed on the slopes.  30-60 seconds sprints on the bike, trail or treadmill can be repeated nearing your max potential. Strength training is very important.  Focusing on the quadriceps, hamstring, calves and abductors need to be addressed in the weight room.  Squats and lunges work different muscle groups and can be done one or more times per week.

Plyometrics stretch and contract your muscles while building your anaerobic potential.  These exercises include jumping, squats, and single leg hops.  Plyometrics require max force in a short period of time and will help build power strength and agility. Some exercises should be avoided in those that have had an injury or are too young.

Find health news related to sports medicine, orthopedic surgery and recovery.  This column is authored by Dr. Michael Rieber, founder of The Joint Institute at Saint Barnabas Medical Center.

Dr. Rieber specializes in surgical joint replacement and has served as team physician for the Newark Bears baseball team, the major league soccer teams New York RedBulls & NYNJ Metrostars, the New Jersey Devils hockey team, the Newark High School football team, Penn State University football team and varsity athletes, the Hershey Bears professional hockey team, and the Hershey Wildcats men’s soccer team.  Dr. Rieber is the former mayor and current resident of Livingston.  He is also the sponsor of the 2016 school year’s Athlete of the Week for Livingston.  Write to Dr. Rieber with questions regarding sports medicine, joint surgery and recover at

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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