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  1. #1
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    Cycling as Cross training for skiing.

    I'm planning on 3 days of skiing early in the new year.
    It will be my first ski trip in 9 years.

    My general fitness level is pretty low.
    And I hate exercising in a gym.
    I'm planning to get out and bike more to build endurance. For strength I'm going to hike up the steep side of a 600 foot hill with a 50 lb rucksack to add to the punishment.

    Any other skiers out there?
    What cross training do you do to stay in shape?
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  2. #2
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    I enjoy skiing and find that the fitness achieved by cycling makes a big difference. Skiing is an all day event. Skiers do get to rest while riding the lifts, skiing does require the kind of prolonged endurance that cycling can provide.

    Cycling also strengthens leg and core muscles. However, skiing uses muscles that cycling cannot strengthen. Rollerblading does a better job of targeting muscle groups used in skiing. Combining the two works well for me.
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  3. #3
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    I'm a ski patroller so skiing is my passion in the winter. Cycling is great for skiing. The years when I cycle the most are also my best years skiing.

    Cycling helps the quads, but you will need to do exercises to strengthen the hamstrings or you get a big misbalance issues in muscles from front to back of the legs. I had this problem and I'm currently in PT to rehab a knee injury that was exacerbated because of that misbalance. Bridges and balancing on a single leg (and permutations of that) have done wonders to help with the hamstring and knee issue.

    If you are living at low elevations, cycling and being aerobically fit will really help you when you go up to altitude and try and exercise.

    J.

  4. #4
    cycling for 50 plus yrs colorado dale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    Cycling is great for skiing. The years when I cycle the most are also my best years skiing.

    Cycling helps the quads, but you will need to do exercises to strengthen the hamstrings or you get a big misbalance issues in muscles from front to back of the legs. I had this problem and I'm currently in PT to rehab a knee injury that was exacerbated because of that misbalance. Bridges and balancing on a single leg (and permutations of that) have done wonders to help with the hamstring and knee issue.

    If you are living at low elevations, cycling and being aerobically fit will really help you when you go up to altitude and try and exercise.

    J.
    +1

  5. #5
    cycling for 50 plus yrs colorado dale's Avatar
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    I've already skiied at abasin (starting day two I avoid opening day) here's a neat video granted it slanted towards boarding
    but this will get you in the mood
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zQa...layer_embedded

  6. #6
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    Three days?? First in 9 years?? Hate exercising??

    Unlikely cycling will help.

    Cycling uses muscles going up-hill. Skiing uses them going down-hill.

    Amazing how good it hurts the first few days of skiing every season.

    Maybe a three day bowling tour.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ali_Pine View Post
    Three days?? First in 9 years?? Hate exercising??

    Unlikely cycling will help.

    Cycling uses muscles going up-hill. Skiing uses them going down-hill.

    Amazing how good it hurts the first few days of skiing every season.

    Maybe a three day bowling tour.
    if you are out of shape anything will help, including cycling. it will build your leg strength and endurance, as much as any 10 week program can. I would probably try some weights, squats and lunges. if you are over 50 (you are on this thread!) and out of shape, I would be very careful about up hill rucking with 50 pounds, unless you have been doing yoga or otherwise are very confident that your achilles, calves and hamstrings are where they need to be for flexibility. but you can always tell people it was a skiing injury when you are crutching around with that torn achilles! try MountainAthelete.com for some workouts.

  8. #8
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Cycling has helped my skiing a lot. I have great aerobic fitness going into the first day. However, I do a lot of core and balance work in the gym which helps both my cycling and skiing. Skiing requires great balance and core and leg strength. Skiing is different from cycling since the legs see less range of motion. I do squats in the gym on a balance board with isometric holds thrown in to simulate the ski position.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  9. #9
    Member Cousin Jack's Avatar
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    I'm a seventy year old alpine ski patroller who does thirty shifts a year.... Ski conditioning is very important to me: I bicycle, hike, lift weights, and climb, but recently I've discovered a tool that puts those activities to shame for ski conditioning. And here it is......





    It's called a kickbike. It was invented in Denmark by a medical student, and the action is very similar to a classical stride, cross country skier.... pump three times on one side, switch legs, and pump on the other! The workout is incredibly strenuous, especially on hilly roads, and it's addicting. You might take a look at one. I got mine on Amazon.

  10. #10
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    Plenty of these in Amish country - any color as long as it's black.
    'semi-retired sled hauler'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Jack View Post
    I'm a seventy year old alpine ski patroller who does thirty shifts a year.... Ski conditioning is very important to me: I bicycle, hike, lift weights, and climb, but recently I've discovered a tool that puts those activities to shame for ski conditioning. And here it is......





    It's called a kickbike. It was invented in Denmark by a medical student, and the action is very similar to a classical stride, cross country skier.... pump three times on one side, switch legs, and pump on the other! The workout is incredibly strenuous, especially on hilly roads, and it's addicting. You might take a look at one. I got mine on Amazon.

  11. #11
    Member Cousin Jack's Avatar
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    "Semi-Retired Sled Hauler!" I like it, I like it!

    Bag em' and drag em' boys! Bag em' and drag em'!

    I'm gonna run sleds until they start running over me!

  12. #12
    Member Cousin Jack's Avatar
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    On the kickbike: Some of the very accurate concerns expressed on here.....balance, hamstring strength, and static isometric exercises for the crouching legs, are all addressed by the kickbike. I also find it a great cross-training aerobic conditioner.....bike one day, climb a 1700' two-mile hill with a thirty pound pack the second, kickbike the third..... Kickbikes are relatively cheap, easy to maintain and store.... and I'll guarantee you that you will be an instant, smash hit when kickbiking past an elementary school! Little kids go absolutely nuts over it!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Jack View Post
    "Semi-Retired Sled Hauler!" I like it, I like it!

    Bag em' and drag em' boys! Bag em' and drag em'!

    I'm gonna run sleds until they start running over me!
    Wanted to continue to haul sleds but the commute to home area (Roundtop in Pa) is a bit long to meet duty schedule.

    Spending most of ski season in Summit Cty. Co. 100+ days 5 of last 6 seasons.

  14. #14
    Garlic
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    Until I moved to AZ I was an avid backcountry skier in Colorado. Cycling was one thing I did for the few months when the snow melted. It seemed to keep me in pretty good shape in the off season. Hiking was probably better, though. Heck, anything fun and active sure can't hurt, including bowling. Daily walks would be a good idea.

    There's skiing, and there's skiing. It's a tough order, but be careful not to ski beyond your fitness and ability. And remember, 100% of all ski fatalities occur on the last run of the day.

  15. #15
    Member Cousin Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skilsaw View Post
    I'm planning on 3 days of skiing early in the new year.
    It will be my first ski trip in 9 years.

    My general fitness level is pretty low.
    And I hate exercising in a gym.
    I'm planning to get out and bike more to build endurance. For strength I'm going to hike up the steep side of a 600 foot hill with a 50 lb rucksack to add to the punishment.

    Any other skiers out there?
    What cross training do you do to stay in shape?
    One issue: What kind of cardiac shape are you in..... overweight? Short of Breath? Prior or family history? Skiing, even walking to the lifts, will often trigger a cardiac emergency. My ski patrol at The Summit at Snoqualmie, Washington State, saves several lives a year with timely (and sometimes lucky) applications of CPR/AED. If you're truly a couch potato, you might want to undergo a dynamic stress test to rule out a possible tragedy.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Speedskater's Avatar
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    No such thing as cross-training for down-hill skiing. I can bike and run and speedskate till I'm blue in the face. Then we go from the flat lands of Ohio to a Black Diamond run in the Rockies and I'm toast.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by skilsaw View Post
    I'm planning on 3 days of skiing early in the new year.
    It will be my first ski trip in 9 years.

    My general fitness level is pretty low.
    And I hate exercising in a gym.
    I'm planning to get out and bike more to build endurance. For strength I'm going to hike up the steep side of a 600 foot hill with a 50 lb rucksack to add to the punishment.

    Any other skiers out there?
    What cross training do you do to stay in shape?
    Biking more is good for your cardio regardless of whether you go skiing.

    If you want to prepare your muscles for downhill skiing and mitigate muscle soreness you need to do some exercise with eccentric muscle contractions. Typically, this involves walking or running downhill. So leave the 50 lb rucksack behind and walk/run up and down Mt Douglas 2-4 times. Work up to doing this a few times a week and you should be good. After the first session your legs will be sore (particularly on the 2nd day) but it should get easier and less painful as you progress.

    Cycling utilizes concentric (shortening) muscle contractions only and it doesn't matter how hard you ride if you hike downhill or ski downhill for a few hours you'll get sore.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    I'm a ski patroller so skiing is my passion in the winter. Cycling is great for skiing. J.
    Cousin Jack wrote: "I'm a seventy year old alpine ski patroller who does thirty shifts a year.... "

    I'm a 61 year old patroller who does about 25 shifts avg/yr - split 66% alpine and 33% nordic. For me, the cycling is excellent for fitness and leg strength but not specific enough to transition to skiing without some adjustment/transition period. I like to add strenuous hiking on the trails in my area with some steep hills. A stairmaster type of machine done aggressively should help downhill ski muscles. This year I swore I would pull the NordicTrak out of the storage shed,....maybe.

    Snoqualmie Pass is only 3,000' and the lifts only give another 1,000' so no altitude issues for this sea level lover (gotta sea kayak regularly).

    Ski patrol - tailroper.jpg
    Last edited by Wildwood; 10-26-12 at 08:26 PM.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Jack View Post
    I'm gonna run sleds until they start running over me!
    Be careful what you wish for......

    Only repositioning equipment...
    Double shift Sat, closing time @10PM, hard icy night, empty Cascade, diamond slope, ...

    barely saved it... a lucky patroller.
    '81 Austro Daimler Olympian, '86 Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra, '87 DeRosa Professional, '99 Calfee TetraPro, '03(?) Macalu Cirrus, '04 Tallerico, '97 Co-Motion Tandem

  20. #20
    Member Cousin Jack's Avatar
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    Wildwood! Where are you? And who are you?!? Pm me..... and with an email address, because I don't have enough posts to pm!

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