TRX Core Exercises To Improve Skiing Performance
The TRX should be a staple in all skier’s training regiment. Not only is it effective at building proprioception (one’s understanding of their location in space), but it promotes efficiency through it’s easy-to-set-up design.
The TRX travels extremely well and provides an array of core-building exercises that can be scaled to any skill level. You don’t have to be an expert to use a TRX but you can certainly become one by training frequently with this remarkable suspension system.
TRX functions by using your own body weight as the resistance force. The less of an angle between your heels and floor, the more difficult the TRX becomes which make it phenomenal for beginners and advanced enthusiasts alike.
But why does the TRX play such a key role in preparation for winter sports? After all, we’re not using our arms…right?
Although we don’t rely heavily on stand-alone arm strength as skiers, the arms are a staple in establishing core strength because they allow you to shift your center of gravity forward! When you hold on to an object, such as a medicine ball, and press it out in front of you, the weight of the water ball increases at the shoulder joint as the item (the bottle) moves further from the center of gravity (you).
Because of this principle, you can train your core to a very exhausting degree with the TRX. I have included the TRX in many of The Ski System’s ski-specific workout programs which can be found HERE. If you want to get started right away, start with these three incredible movements designed to boost your core strength and prep you for the season.
LEANING TRX SKIER PALOFF PRESS:
Begin by fixing the TRX to your palms, and placing it at the center of your sternum. Then begin to lean all of your bodyweight outward, away from where the TRX is fixed. This should create full tension in the straps. Trust me, a very small amount of leaning creates a ton of resistance, so be conservative with your efforts.
Once you are supported solely by the TRX, inhale, brace, and exhale as you press your arms to the locked position. This will simulate the lateral demands placed on your trunk during a ski turn. You will see that my leg position is similar to that of the leg position found in the arch of a ski turn.
Reps: 6-8/side with a 1 second pause at the end
Recovery: 1-2 minutes to fully allow your core muscles to recovery
ROTATIONAL ROW TO PALOFF PRESS:
Once again we take advantage of lateral resistance to stress the obliques, hips, and deep transverse abdominis, all of which are crucial muscles used to create stable ski turns.
Begin by rowing both handles toward your chest. Midway through the row, look to your right or left and begin to transition the row into a fully extended press (lock your elbows!). Hold this position and feel your hips and core muscles contract like no other.
Although this position is largely isometric in the lower extremities, it lends itself to skiing by conditioning the entire core unit to withstand significant increases in lateral tension.
Reps: 4-6/side *these should be very tough*
Recovery: 2 minutes
SUPPORTED SKIER JUMP LUNGE
A typical lunge requires you to be centered over your feet, meaning that your trunk sits directly between both feet. This is great for skiing but doesn’t mimic the forward-pitched torso position you typically find in a skier who is “stacked” over their boots. That’s where the TRX Comes in.
By gripping the resistance and jumping backward away from the wall, you increase tension in the TRX and allow your torso to flex forward upon landing. This conditions the body to triple extend out of a forward flexed position much like a clean-pull with a barbell. As you stand from the floor, your hips extend and you torso lifts.
Additionally, when performed for time, this will help you build muscular endurance in your quads to improve your ability to ski more turns each day.
Reps: 30-45 seconds per set
Recovery: As little as possible
TRX PLANK PIKE
Simple and sinister. Hold the push-up plank position with the flexion point of your ankle in the TRX loops. As you draw your feet to your head, push your butt to the ceiling. This will place a ton of stress on your hip flexors and core muscles to elevate your hips.
Passively, due to the hand position, this will place a significant work load on your shoulders. Great for longevity as many ski injuries occur to the shoulder upon crashes, and edge catches. The stronger and more durable your shoulder girdle, the less likely you are to injure it barring any acute trauma.
Reps: 4-10 depending on skill level
Recovery: 45 seconds
If you enjoy these blog posts, please share them with other skiers who love training, or want to get started on a training program.
In Good Health,