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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
ok, it's under 2 months until I hit the slopes.

I am 6'2" and weigh 100kg (16 stone). a bit overweight but relatively good fitness in my legs and heart as I cycle a bit.

My tummy is lovely and squishy and huggable... just don't ask me about "core strength"!

I have around me a big inflatable ball
2 hand weights 8KG max on each.
a book "The Supple body"

What can I do to best get me ready for the slopes?

I am gym phobic!! (pretty much exercise phobic! I don't mind cycling but don't love it like some, I certainly find it easy to make excuses and take the metro rather than cycle the 10 miles into work!)
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Cycling is pretty good for skiing so perhaps you just need to work on your upper body.

You could try sit-ups to improve your core strength and tricep dips to work the muscles in the backs of your arms you use when you have to pole across any flats.

There's a load of exercises you can do to improve your balance and thigh strength but I'll leave the others to fill you in on that. Everyone has their own versions which they reckon are best.

My physio friend was telling me last week to jump from side to side over an imaginery line to simulate the hip movements you use when carving, making sure you bend your knees to minimise impact.

Take it easy though - you don't want to damage yourself before you get to the resort! Smile
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Are your legs strong or do you have a fair amount of stamina? Cycling will improve stamina, but strength is harder to gain unless you cycle up steap slopes. For strength, my physio recommended squats, plus goingg slowly up any stairs two steps at a time, concentrating so that lifting leg takes all the strain. When coming down do likewise, with the forward leg taking all the weight of lowering the body slowly. It really helps.
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fragglerock, Do you have a good idea what to do with the weights? If so do any/all of those moves whilst sitting/lying on your big inflatable ball instead of a bench....the instability tones your core while the weights tone the rest of you.

You can do that torture of a wall exercise with your ball too....stand up against the wall with the ball between your back and the wall, lower yourself down till legs are at 90 degrees, hold till you can't stand the agony, roll back up...repeat until screaming!

Tone your huggable tummy by doing crunches on the ball....you'll have a six pack in no time.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
homphomp,
Quote:
Do you have a good idea what to do with the weights?

Not really I bought them a couple of years ago in the hope that simply by having them in the same room as me would generate more muscle... seems not to work like that Sad

A link to simple safe exercises would be great!
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take a look on EpicSki at this thread http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=13460 and others in the same fitness and health part of the forum. Alternativel do a search for "Swiss Ball" or "FitBall", there are loads of exercises online
Not sure how good they are, I just do the ones my fitness instructor tells me to - they seem to hurt lots (particularly situps and hamstring curls on the ball) so they must be good? snowHead
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
fragglerock, From my own experience as long as your leg muscles are in good condition you will be fine. I just let gravity and technique do the work now. Its one of the main reasons not to try snowboarding as I sure that my stomach muscles, such as they are, would protest if i had to keep getting up of the snow repeatedly! Main thing is not to hurt yourself before your holiday. Smile
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Maybe I should pay someone to tell me what to do, but I fear the extra weight of a Gym club card in my wallet wont help me that much...
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Hmm this looks interesting (from the thread stuarth suggested)

http://www.nsca-lift.org/perform/article.asp?ArticleID=78


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Fri 29-10-04 15:43; edited 1 time in total
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Here's some interesting things to do with your ball.

And here's some stuff to do with your weights....replace the bench with the ball and you're away!

Don't blame me if you roll off and hurt something....
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
fragglerock,
"Those who fail to find time for exercise now, will one day have to find the time to be ill" (anonymous)
and
"Exercise is not just for Christmas, but for life"
So stop this exercise phobia crap, and start with a little mild something today. See here.
Just aim to get breathless for 30 minutes every day. Start with rather less, and work up to it.
Gyms are not necesary. How about dancing?
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Jonpim, an interesting article in that link. One problem though was it said that the correct amount of exercise depends on the key factors of age, weight, sex and diet. That's a tricky one for me as at the moment the first two - age and weight are increasing at the same slow rate, the last one (diet) is decreasing (with sudden binges), but sex, well that is very much a variable as Mrs Z gets very tired these days and I'm not sure how to factor it into the equation.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I bought an Elliptical/Cross trainer on ebay during August Bank holiday.

I've done 5 x half hour sessions every week since then with the machine on a low resistance/high rpm setting for maximum CV benefit & calorie burn. Combined with being careful with my diet (based around a 50% reduction in alchohol comsumption) I've managed to drop 17lbs. My target is another 10lbs before going to Verbier on the 4th Dec.

At 44 I've found that the elliptical motion is a lot less stressful on the knees than a exercise bike and there's not the ankle jarring compared with running treadmills.
Also the movement of the arm levers also helps the upper body and the stomach muscles etc.

I do exactly as the instruction book tells me - a 3 minute warm up, some stretching, 30 minutes with my pulse rate up at 140/145 (I built up to this time & level over the first couple of weeks), 5 minutes warm down then more stretching.

I've really noticed the CV benefit & couldn't believe how much better my legs felt at the end of a 2 hour Castleford session last weekend.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I've also starting doing an exercise for the diagonal muscles across the thighs as recomended by & taught on the Warren Smith courses. It's apparently also good for helping to prevent knee/ACL injuries as it increase support etc.

Trust me, it's a lot easier to do than describe:

Stand upright with your feet a few inches apart (holding on to the back of a chair with your right hand can help balance)

Raise your left leg up so that your thigh is horizontal whilst at the same time crossing your left thigh over your right thigh. As you raise your leg up you should keep the inside of your left ankle touching the left hand side of your right leg - it will slide up to the side of your right knee.

You will now be in a position were your left thigh is horizontal, your left knee is pointing approx 45 degrees to the right & the inside of your left ankle is against the side of your right knee.

Now pivot your left leg to the left, keeping the thigh horizontal, swinging your left leg around approx 135 degrees so that the left knee is pointing to the left. Keep the left ankle close to or touching the side of the right knee whilst doing this.

Then slide the left ankle down the side of the right leg, lowering the left thigh/knee back to the start position.

Each 'revolution' should be done in one slow continuous smooth motion.

Start with say 5 revolutions on one side then swap legs.

I've built up to a daily routine of 3 sets of 10 reps, swapping legs between sets. As you develop you can add ankle weights or just put your ski boots on.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
fragglerock, swiss balls or similar are hazardous especially if you have poor core strength and no instruction - sorry homphomp, but falling off and hurting himself is very likely.

Your cycling will give you reasonable endurance in your legs maybe you just need to work on adding to your strength. Less than two months is not long - could do this quite successfully in a gym but at home with no equipment it is harder.

Strengthening quads - squats performed very very slowly with long pauses at the midpoint could work. Stand upright resting hand or hands on something to assist with balance if necessary; slowly squat down to the point where your calf and thigh are at right angles at the knee, pause, slowly come back up - do not halt at the top but immediately start to go down again. Very slow movements, at least 10 seconds in each direction, preferably nearer 20 seconds. Keep repeating until you are unable to continue, this will hurt. Measure your improvement by timing how long you can continue each time - do not repeat within 48 hours or even 72 hours if you are not in your youth.

To help with poling - lie on your back, put your hands flat on the ground underneath your shoulders and then press to straighten your arms, raising your upper body - again do this very slowly - do not fully straighten your arms but start to lower just before - do not lower body fully to the ground but start to raise again just before touching. It may help to have your hands on something slightly raised such as a low stool or the bottom step of the stairs. This will help to strengthen the lats and mainly the triceps.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
spyderjon, I have been using an eliptical trainer along with free weights and sit ups for core work. Coupled with restricting alcohol consumption to Fridays and Saturdays. I train 3 times a week for about an hour. Massive benifits to stamina an overall condition. Lost about a stone in weight which means I have had to buy more clothes because of reduced waiste line - the increased exercise is putting a 3rd ski trip in serious jeopardy because of the amount of clothes that dont fit me now!! Sad
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I'm 5'9 and was 14 stone about 12 months ago.

I didn't like it.

We have some nice fields nearby so I googled for running and found the American WalkRun programme - basically a simple 'how to start running' table (I'll dig out the url if anyone asks)

I also tried the Atkins diet (from the book, not the papers) for 6 months and found it was actually pretty healthy - essentially no carbohydrates. I now find I eat almost no sugar and far more veg than I used to.

Now I'm about 12.5 stone (target 12) and I feel better.
I can run for about 25 minutes non-stop (yep, I was following a 12 week programme that got you to 30 mins in 12 weeks and I'm at 25mins 12 months later - <sigh>)

I just figured that I didn't want to live my life as an unfit chubby bloke.

I'm not a fanatic about it (just off for a chinese) but I'd recomend 'getting fit' to anyone who steps back and realises that they aren't as healthy as they could be Smile

David
PS Runnig doesn't do it for your thighs. You get great aerobic fitness and I your core (stomach) certainly improves but I think you still need the squats and lunges.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
fragglerock, If you really are phobic about exercise then I sugget only 2 ideas.

Firstly continue with the cycling to work - but make sure you do it every day. Cycling is not only good for your aerobic fitness but also for your balance and co-ordination.

Secondly, run (slowly) up every flight of stairs you come to. It's not as hard as it sounds. You might find long flights a bit hard at first, but the springing action of running up steps is very good for the leg muscles as well as for the CV system. You can do this without having to go to a gym or anything. However I do mean EVERY flight of stairs - even if there are only two steps. I find lots of people benefit from this, it takes no time out of your day, doesn't cost you anything and is very helpful. NEVER run down stairs though, it's very bad for your knees.

With regard to your tummy, if you can get over the phobia then curls or sit ups are good. Curls are less stressful - Jane Fonda is/was a great exponent of them. Core strength can help a lot with ski-ing - how else can you get back up when you fall over without looking a complete charlie? Also, if you get thrown back while ski-ing you need core strength to get forward again. I am reliably informed that Alberto Tomba had a 16 pack on his front! rolling eyes
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easiski, Very Happy
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
fragglerock, To give you something else to think about ...... I find swimming really helpful. It gives your whole body a workout, and is especially good for lungs etc. It IS really really boring, but gives me more of a workout than cycling/gym.

I might be wrong (looking for the experts on the forum to tell me so), but (for me), the most effective fitness improvement I can make is my cardiovascular system - this ensures that my muscles can get as much oxygen as possible. If you are not that fit (and I'm not), then building specfic msucle groups does not seem to be as effective.

Having done that, then I think the next most important area to focus on is the amount of stress you feel when skiing - nothing tires me out like terror ! So get some lessons !
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What would you recommend for my husband to do, to improve the flexibilty of his hip joints?
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erica2004, I found Pilates good to improve my flexibility. I can't get to a class at the moment, and I'm starting to feel it.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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erica2004 wrote:
What would you recommend for my husband to do, to improve the flexibilty of his hip joints?

Ahem, why do you ask?
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erica2004, Stretch. And then stretch some more. And then stretch some more again. Gently. Do a number of stretching exercises every day. Gently.

The joint itself is bone & cartilege and can't be stretched as such, so I assume you actually mean the tissue connecting his thighs to his lower abdomen (i.e. hip flexors etc). Gently try any/all mentioned here: www.exrx.net/Lists/ExList/HipsWt.html
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It's the side to side swing of his hips that he is stiff in. As you bend away from the slope - not forward/ backward movement, laundryman.
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erica2004, Try latin american dancing - seriously!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
erica2004, if your husband has always been stiff laterally at the hips, it might be the way he is made. If so, leave well alone; greater flexibility than he is designed for can destabilise the hip joint. You will be stretching the ligaments and tendons which is an absolute no-no.

Ask some of the snowheads who are much more expert than me about skiing but I am not sure that you need much lateral flexibility at the hips. I have little lateral flexibility but can easily dig my ski edges in when traversing.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
john wells, You do need lateral flexibility in the pelvic region for angulation. If you edge from the knee, you are very likely to damage knee ligaments before too long. Knee angulation should only be used as a last resort.
when you angulate from the hips you need to twist (not a good word but I can't think of a better one at the moment) a bit from the hip to allow a strong leg against the edge. Lack of flexibility in this region is very common among men. I can't see any physiological reason, so I think it's cultural - girls are not discouraged from swinging their hips as they walk for instance! It's more to do with freedom of movement, but as I said before latin american dancing can help a llot with this! Very Happy
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Here in Mordor I've noticed that quite a few blokes in their 30's - 40's who start skiing have very little hip flexibility. It seems to be related to playing a lot of rugby in their younger days. Not a scientific study (Kramer please note Wink ) but just an observation.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Alan Craggs, Of course you live in the land of Rugby! I would say rugby is the worst sport for ski-ing - all force. However I did once teach a man who played for England and tht was a completely different storey. He was no less flexible and co-ordinated than any other top level sportsman.
Not scientific, but quickest ski learners = dancers and gymnasts (high level I mean). Also good seems to be tennis and 4 wheel motorsports (curious). Bad = motorcyclists who always want to bank, rugby as mentioned above and squeahs. Can't see why squash & tennis should be different though!
Just watched celebrity Cpome Dancing and saw that Roger Black is really very stiff - Julian Clery is quite good - it's that hip swinging!!! Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley rolling eyes
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
That explains my lack of progress. I'm a motorbike riding rugby player.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
easiski, with carvers and blades, isn't banking one of the goodies nowadays? Not for sensible skiing, I can see that but then blades aren't sensible.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Quote:

isn't banking one of the goodies nowadays?


can banking ever be described as a "goodie"? By making it much harder or impossible to obtain an effective edge set, banking is the last thing you need on carvers or blades imo Puzzled

(n.b. - "banking" means leaning the entire body into the turn, with no hip angulation)
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Yep, I thought that this was one of the stylish things that you are meant to do on blades - you know the brushing the knuckles on the snow stuff ala snowboarding. Doing this you certainly set your edges and it can be very satisfying when it works - but if the snow consistancy is not just right, your feet and blades can just slide out depositing you on the ground. Maybe this is what you mean by setting your edges - the stylish way does not put much weight on the edges and depends on the snow being sufficiently soft to hold you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not advocating this as a good thing to do - I was just having a dig at the magazines which show these photographs as a cool way to ski or use blades. Have I done it? - yes and it can be great fun but you have to pick your snow surface and keep awake for surface changes. A fairly daft thing to do but then sliding down a mountain is fairly daft in the first place.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
john wells, ah I see - do you have any pics of you doing it by any chance Madeye-Smiley
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john wells, I do see where you're coming from, and it's true that in fun carving (whether on skis or blades) you do bank more than traditionally. However, with banking it's all a matter of degree. If you have enough speed to generate more centrifugal force you can bank more. If you're going slowly you can't bank as much - it depends on where the pointof no return is. Chemmy Allcott found it on the flat in Hochsolden!

However, while fun carving (which does require pressure and weight on the inside ski) it's essential to really bend the inside leg. this leg must fold up completely to allow your hip to get close enough to the ground to drag your hand in the snow to the inside of the turn. This requires even more julian clary than previously discussed!

Seriously, you see a lot of people sort of leaning over and dragging their hands in the snow by bending at the waist and leaning in (not that I'm suggesting that's what you do), which is not fun carving - it's basically called looking a pl**ker!

Banking is fine (as long as you don't listen to BASI) up to a point, but you have to be sensitive to that point when you start to feel too much weight on the inside ski, and that's when you absolutley HAVE to angulate to avoind falling over. Little Angel
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easiski, oh alright, I probably look like a pl**ker. Short and fat and on blades - I must look like a pl**ker (is this a banned word then?).
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
john wells, surely the point of blades is to look a pl**ker ?
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ski, yep, you could be right - I forgot to mention that also I wear a one-piece just to confirm the overall impression. Mind you, I cannot understand people who are bothered about what others may think of their appearance - I suppose if you have always been short and fat it makes for a whole different way of thinking. - elegant I could not do in a million years.
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Given the excellent fitness training advice you've given snowHeads 'short & fat' is not the mental picture most of us had of you john wells. I was envisioning a lycra-clad, muscle-bound inverted pyramid with shaved legs. Pleased you're really one of us and not bothered by it.
BTW Planker and pl**ker both work - you can test any doubtful words with Preview to see what the profanity filter makes of them.
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