The first light, fluffy fall snow flurries have arrived, and in Jackson that means one thing- we’ve all got a serious case of ski brain. Although it will be a couple months before we are crushing Tram laps at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, preparing for the pow is a fun way to while away the welcome off-season downtime. Locals know that behind every legend is a lifetime of hard work and dedication to the sport they love the most, whether it is in season or not. When Wyoming champagne powder snow finally does cover our peaks and fill our bowls, preparation off the hill will give you the extra edge you need to have an epic and injury-free season.
Many gyms and studios in town offer ski fitness classes, but no gym is as loved and respected by winter athletes as Wright Training. Owner Crystal Wright is a big mountain skier and two time Freeskiing World Tour winner whose own career injures have inspired her to help others become sustainable in their outdoor pursuits. All of the trainers at Wright Training are passionate about the outdoor lifestyle, including skiing, mountain biking, climbing, running, and more.
A ski fitness class at Wright Training is comprehensive and created specifically to progress the individual over time, but many of us have tight schedules and are looking for a quick workout for those days we just can’t quite squeeze in an hour-long class. Crystal and trainer Max Martin break down a circuit specifically designed to simulate skiing from the top to bottom of Rendezvous Mountain. When skiing a Tram lap, you will likely encounter tougher terrain such as moguls, tree skiing, and off piste features, as well as easier groomed terrain, and maybe have a couple of short breaks. This circuit stimulates all of these real life experiences and can be done in any gym or even at home, substituting equipment such as the box and plate for items you might already have.
Begin your workout with a simple warm up, such as using a jump rope and/or stretching out your hamstrings. Then, move through each of three 30 second stations, and in between each station come into a tuck hold (a low squat) for 20 seconds. Once you have done all three stations with tuck holds in between, you have completed one circuit and should take a 1-minute break. Then, go through the circuit 3 more times for a total of 4 circuits.
Start with minis (10x of each, 5x of jump squats) before working into full versions of these (20x of each, 10x of jump squats) over the course of eight weeks. Begin with a squat, and remember to keep your chest tall and your weight under the sole of your foot. Push your legs through the full range of motion, until your hips are slightly below 90 degrees. Then, take a step forward in a lunge, keeping the thigh of your front leg parallel to the floor and your knee driving out over your toes. Rest for 15 seconds between rounds. In subsequent repetitions, add an explosive jump in between lunges and squats.
Station 1: Touch-Jump-Touch, 30 seconds
Come into a squat and lightly touch the floor with your fingertips, then extend your legs and jump, landing with your hands on the floor once again. Shuffle two steps to the side, and repeat. When jumping, make sure to drop your hips and keep your chest high, like in a squat, in order to fully use your legs without hunching over and recruiting the low back.
Station 2: Box Jump, 30 seconds
Practice good form by standing in an athletic position, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Come into a quarter squat, bend your knees and swing your arms to propel yourself onto the top of the box, and pause momentarily on top of the box to avoid injury. If you are feeling fatigued and barely making it onto the box, take a moment to reset in between jumps.
Station 3: Lateral Plate Hops, 30 seconds
Jump laterally from one side of the plate to the other continuously, landing each time in an athletic stance. Pay close attention to the alignment of your knees when landing and taking off- your knee should drive out straight over your toes.
To cool down, stretch out your quads, hamstrings, and glutes, and use a foam roller to help release these muscle groups even more. For days when you have more time to spare and are craving a full ski training work out, Wright Training offers a pre-registered ski fit series that progresses each week as well as drop in classes. When we finally get our first big winter snowstorm of the season, only hot chocolate breaks will be able to slow you down, so be sure to jump on an early tram and embrace waist deep turns until the last bell.
For customized personal training options, or to get more info on ski fitness programs and more, head over to Wright Training’s website.