Yesterday American skier Bode Miller won gold in the super combined, giving him three Olympic medals in Vancouver and five in his career. Not bad for the New Hampshire native and new dad. (Read more in the New York Times.)
We dug up some skiing training tips from a few years back, so you, too, can get into the best shape of your life. These are taken from our November 2005 (read the full article), when Miller was working with coach John McBride. "Bode likes to do old-school, Rocky-type training, like pushing wheelbarrows full of friends up steep hills," said McBride for the article. "And he's able to apply the strength and athleticism from these skills to skiing more effectively than most." They might be a little dated, but they made him, at least in part, the Olympian he is today.
1. Balance: Slacklining
Find two trees 20 to 30 feet (6 to 9 meters) apart and tightly string a one-inch-wide (2.54 centimeter) piece of webbing two feet (.5 meters) off the ground between them. Keep your eyes focused on one spot in front of you and slowly walk the length of the rope. Use ski poles for balance at first, but as your skills improve, move the webbing higher, nix the poles, and do a single-leg squat on each step. "Slack-lining is great for learning how to move dynamically and for challenging your balance," says McBride.
2. Agility and Anticipation: Rock-Hopping
Got a shallow stream nearby? Lace up your sturdy trail runners and hop up the creek bed touching only the exposed rocks. "There is probably nothing better than rock-hopping to train agility, anticipation, and explosive power," says McBride. Take heed: Wet tread can be
slick, so be surefooted and bring a chamois along to dry off your kicks.
3. Power: Single-Leg Squat
Using two ski poles for balance, stand on one foot, lower yourself down until your thigh is parallel to the ground, and then raise yourself slowly. "This drill is about being able to control the movement; gaining individual leg strength is critical," says McBride. Start with three sets of ten reps per leg. As your hamstrings strengthen, drop the poles and do 15
reps per leg.
4. Endurance: The Wheelbarrow Push
Load up your wheelbarrow with 50 pounds (22 kilograms) of stones and
it up the steepest hill in the neighborhood. No, we're not kidding.
"Instead of lifting weight that is static, this teaches your body to
control a dynamic load like you do in skiing," says McBride. When the stones become too easy, load up a friend. Start off two times a week with two sets of four three-minute sprints. Rest two minutes between sprints and five minutes between sets.
5. Isometric Power: TV Sits
"The wall sit makes you resist the force of your own body weight, which simulates what happens in certain parts of the turn while skiing," explains McBride. With your back against the wall, lower yourself down until your legs form a 90-degree angle. Try four sets of one-, two-, and three-minute intervals twice a week. Increase the duration of intervals as you gain strength.
Fill a backpack with 20 to 30 pounds (9 to 13 kilograms) and walk or jog downhill to simulate skiing's eccentric loading (i.e., lengthening quadricep muscles as you lower into a squatlike position). "This is the closest specific exercise you can do to skiing," says McBride. "You're moving both forward and laterally with increased force." Start with 30 minutes of downhill hiking once a week.
Text by Lindsay Yaw. Illustrations by Jason Lee. Taken from the November 2005 issue.