Major League Outfielder
“I’ve always been told that I have this great potential-I just wasn’t living up to it. I had to find out what I could do, playing injury-free and strong for an entire season. It took me awhile to realize what a physical grind a major league season is. After that, I assessed my career and saw two problems: injuries and running out of gas in the dog days of August. I figured a Nautilus program could help me with both. I realized that the unlimited potential people were always telling me about was just that-potential. It was up to me to transform that potential into accomplishment.”
When I found this quote today, I was so pumped because it so perfectly helps me launch this article. I received a request from someone asking how to get the season started safely without injuring an already sensitive knee.
I believe injuries such as these occur from one or a combination of three problems; bad form, poor workout decisions and poor conditioning. It is easy to workout these problems once properly identified, but that is the biggest problem. 99% of the people that I help here at the ski school can solve the majority of their problems by correcting their form! And do not think that you are an exception to this rule! I am not going to launch into a Posture and Glide speech right now, but if you are interested in untapping your potential, I have given you all the info that you need to pursue this path!
Then that leaves us with pre-season training and “smart skiing”!
I love and believe the quote, “Champions are made in the off-season!” The same process of identifying your weaknesses and attacking them apples here. Let’s take the knee problem. With the understanding that I am not a doctor or a physical trainer, I will make some recommendations that I believe are very helpful and well within the basic guidelines set forth by professionals in this field.
The first is obvious. Seek professional help in rehabilitating your knee. After that has been accomplished, seek a trainer that will be able to put you on a strength training program that fits your goals. I understand that my goals and your goals are probably quite different, but I can honestly tell you that having the guidance of an AWESOME strength training coach ( Keith Ledger, Cypress Gardens Health Club, Winter Haven, FL) has turned around my skiing and my whole life tremendously.
Having said that, I will give some simple ways to protect the knee. First and foremost, we will strengthen all the muscles AROUND the knee (or what ever area is a problem). For the knee to be best protected, we need to strengthen the quadriceps, the hamstrings, and maybe even the calves. I recommend staying away from squats because the form must be perfect and unless you have a personal trainer there with you, it is too easy to make a huge mistake. You can do lunges, leaps, leg extensions, hamstring curls, and sissy squats! If you do not know what these are, then get PROFESSIONAL HELP! Use light or no weight while you perfect your form (sounds familiar!?). This is a great way to condition before the season starts!
WARNING: If any of this hurts a specific part of your knee, stop and seek help. By the way, if this doesn’t put you into a MAJOR sweat, then you are not doing it right. By the way, legs are the most intense of all the body parts to work out as it is your biggest group of muscles.
I will leave it there as far as the strength conditioning. This will definitely build the muscles around the knee and protect your injury prone areas.
The next area that I will only touch briefly is “Smart Skiing”. This is a concept I started pursuing after I realized how little THE BEST skiers fall. It was not simply because they were better, but because they learned to make the right decisions at that certain time during their practices! Let me just say that for now, think about organizing your practices, especially at the start of the season, so that your goal is a “NFP” (No Fall Practice)! This is always the goal and the prize of “Smart Skiing!”
I am sitting here getting pumped about this topic to the point that I will not be able to make this short! So with the above “teaser,” I will leave you anxious for the next morsel of inspiration that will be delivered in News from THE EDGE #9- The Power of Smart Skiing
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