Archive | September 2011

Off-Season Training: 5 Great Exercises to Prepare for the Winter

With winter right around the corner, now is a great time to get your body in shape for the upcoming season. Skiing can be a dangerous sport and sometimes the proper off-season training can help prevent your body from incurring injuries. This is why I find myself working just as hard in the summer and fall as in the winter in order to build up my muscles and joints so that my body is better prepared to take the inevitable hits that skiing will dish out. Here are five exercises that I do to prepare myself for the season:

1.) Bike riding: Riding your bike is one of the greatest things you can do for your body because unlike running, it has low-impact on the joints. As a result, getting on the bike 3 to 4 times a week will help build the leg muscles around your knees as well as strengthen your knee and ankle joints. Tearing an ACL is a very common and serious injury in skiing, so it is important that you build up the muscles that surround your knee to reduce the chance of having an injury like this happen to you.

2.) Core and back exercises: Your core and back are both an essential part to skiing. One of my favorite exercises to do is leg lifts because unlike curls it does not require the back to arch which can result in rounding of your vertebrae.  As for the back, back raises are always a good choice as long as you make sure that you keep your back straight and only bend at the waist.

3.) Shoulder exercises: Many people don’t understand why you would need to workout your shoulders for skiing when they are hardly used, but I strengthen my shoulder muscles in order to help prevent injury. The fact is that in skiing you will fall and a common injury that will occur is to the shoulder. Therefore, the stronger the muscles are that connect your shoulder, then the less chance you will have of separating or dislocating it. This is why I began to use Theraband heavy resistance physical therapy bands. These things are great because they use resistance to help strengthen the shoulder joint which will end up saving you when you do take a big fall.

4.) Stretching: Stretching is one of the best things you can do on the off-season to prepare yourself to ski. The more flexible you become, the less prone you will be to injury. If possible, I would definitely recommend that you start taking yoga classes as they not only help to increase your flexibility and build your joints, but they teach you how to breath properly which can be very important when dropping into a line or a run for a competition.

5.) Swimming: Swimming is an all around great workout for the body as it works almost every muscle and has no impact on the joints. Another plus to swimming is that it will help build up your cardio, which is another crucial part of skiing. Whether you are simply trying to hike to the next best line or need the endurance to ski a full line without stopping, swimming can be a great help in reaching the level of cardio that you wish to achieve.

Please feel free to comment and add any exercises that you do in your off-season routine to prepare yourself for the upcoming season.

Helmet or Not?

Hey everyone, unfortunately I was unable to attend the TGR premier at Alpine Meadows this weekend because I was called into work on Friday night. I heard good things about the movie such as extreme big mountain lines as can always be expected from the TGR crew, but I will have to wait to give the full review until I see the movie myself. That being said, today I found an interesting blog post on helmets that made me think about the issue on whether or not they should be made mandatory for skiers.

Helmet laws have become increasingly popular over the past decade as many states have made them mandatory for motorcyclists. According to Bikerights.com, there are only two states remaining that have no regulation whatsoever on helmets. On the skiing side of things, there are currently no helmet laws enacted, but the recent death of Natasha Richardson in 2009  at Mount Tremblant has created more support to make helmets a mandatory part of skiing.

In my opinion, I feel that whether or not someone decides to wear a helmet should be up to them. We live in a country that is built on personal freedom and there is nothing more personal than one’s own body. I believe that it is wrong for a government institution to tell us what we can and can’t do with our body even if it is a safety issue like wearing a helmet. Everyone who goes skiing should know that it is a risky sport and with it comes the possibility of injury. Therefore, if you choose to put your own physical health at risk by not wearing a helmet then your decision should be respected. Whether or not you wear a helmet is not going to affect someone else’s personal well being, so as long as your decision is not harming anyone else, then I feel it should be left to you.

Another part of the skiing helmet issue is whether the law should be enacted solely for minors under the age of 18. This means that adults would be free to choose whether or not they wanted to wear a helmet, while kids and teens would be required to wear one regardless. I feel that this is not so much an issue that needs to be resolved by a law but instead should be enforced by parents and ski instructors. It is a parents job to make sure that their kid is safe, and if this means buying their child a helmet, then they should do so. However, I do not feel that teens should be required by law to wear a helmet because they should have control over their body just as an adult should. Once again, if a teen wishes to ski without a helmet then they should be able to do so at their own risk and not be punished for making a decision that will only affect their own personal well-being.

Please feel free to share your comments and opinions on helmet laws for skiers.

Ski Movie Review – On Top of the Hood

This past Sunday, Sammy Carlson and Nimbus Independent released their free short online movie called “On Top of the Hood.” This movie can be seen at On Top of The Hood.com and features the riding of Sammy Carlson, Andy Mahre, Brandon Kelly, Tommy Ellingson, Willie Borm, John Spriggs, Nate Wood, and Ben Moxham.

As the name states, the entire movie is filmed at Mount Hood, Oregon and takes place mostly on the mountain peak. Sammy Carlson and his crew build some massive step-ups and some unique features on top of the Mount Hood glacier. This movie really impressed me, especially since it was filmed only in one short summer. I would definitely recommend watching this movie if you have a free half-hour in your day. Sammy Carlson absolutely destroys every feature that he builds and one trick that really stands out in my mind is his unnatural double rodeo nine over a gigantic step-up. If you plan on viewing this you can expect to see sketchy in-runs and huge jumps. Combine those two things with some of the best skiers in the game and you end up with a great movie.

After you’re done watching this, if you still have the itch to see more skiing then head over to Alpine Meadows tomorrow for the premier of TGR’sOne For the Road.” Doors open at 7:00 P.M. and the show starts at 8:00. Tickets can be purchased online or at the Start Haus located in Truckee, CA. Come out for a chance to see what the TGR crew was up to last winter and win some prizes and free swag. If you don’t get the chance to make it, I will be sure to blog on how it went in the next couple days.

Ski Movie Review – Weight

As we enter the fall season and the temperatures begin to drop, ski movies begin to premier across the world in order to create more excitement for the upcoming season. Last night I had the opportunity to watch Stept Productions new movie “Weight”, and if you are a fan of urban skiing then this movie is an absolute must have for you.

Many people don’t understand why someone would want to leave a perfectly good resort and head out onto the streets to pursue skiing. I feel that Nick Martini does a good job in describing the incentive to why they decide to spend a good part of their winter in the city. “Just like a big mountain skier goes into the back country to truly test their skills, a park skier heads to the streets.” Urban skiing is different from simply skiing in a park because you are in an urban environment that was not designed for skiing and normally involves concrete, stairs, and metal that is a lot less forgiving then falling on snow. The possibilities of urban features are endless and it is up to you to take the city and make it your own playground in whatever way you can imagine.

The Stept crew takes urban to a whole new level as they hit some of the most creative features to date with mind blowing tricks that will leave you sitting with your jaw-dropped in awe. Not only does their new movie showcase the craziest urban I have ever seen, but it is also put together really well and edited to perfection. Furthermore, Stept did a good job in providing a well-rounded soundtrack that compliments the skiing very nicely. Some notable performances include Clayton Villa, Sean Jordan, Parker White, Shea Flynn, and Nick Martini. Check out their teaser and decide if this movie is something you want to add to your collection.

My Story

When I moved out West to Reno, Nevada, at first it was hard for me to stay motivated on school work when I was surround by such beautiful mountains and amazing snow. Since skiing was one of the main reasons that I decided to pack up my belongings and head nearly 3,000 miles across the country, it was really the only thing on my mind. However, in my second semester of college I took a serious fall while skiing that resulted in two compression fractures in my L1 vertebrae. As a result, over the next three and a half months I was required to wear a turtle shell type body cast so that my back would heal in the best possible way. All physical activity, including skiing, came to a screeching halt and fear began to set in that I would not be able to return to the same level of skiing I was at before the injury.

Luckily, I was a college student enrolled at a great university so the possibilities of things to do were still limitless. It was at this point that I discovered my second passion in life for Business management and entrepreneurship. Being able to take my mind off skiing and focus on something else was crucial in helping me keep my sanity while I was recovering. Instead of simply sulking in self-pity, I was able to focus all my energy on my classes and I really began to see how business could change my life. School was a great help in the recovery process but I also made a promise to myself that I would not let a freak injury like this stop me from doing what I love. Therefore, when the cast came off and it was time to begin physical therapy, I made sure I put in 110% effort so that I would be prepared to have a strong return to skiing the next season.

It has been almost four years since I sustained that life changing injury and some things have changed, but many things have not. I still manage to put in over 100 days of skiing a year, but now I am more focused on the academic side of things. I have come to the realization that skiing is a dangerous sport and nothing is ever promised to last forever so it is important to have an education to fall back on. Now I work harder then ever training for skiing as well as on my schoolwork and as a result it makes me a very busy but happy person. It is my goal to one day be able to combine my two passions of business and skiing into a job that I can be happy doing every day of my life. My blog will include skiing news, reviews, tips, upcoming events, popular videos, and some of my personal experiences centered around Lake Tahoe to provide a place for discussion and insight into the skiing community.