It’s already over halfway through the month of May, and we have begun to feel the chill of winter on it’s way which can only mean one thing- Ski season will soon be upon us! Many of the mountains have already begun to offer pre-season specials on season passes, as keen skiers and snowboarders start to look forward to perhaps the biggest perk of the winter season. In preparing for the snow season you want to be fit and in shape to make the most of the few months of the year that allow you to pick up your skis or board and go for it. Luckily, the Concept2 SkiErg offers a specific workout that will prepare you to pick up where you left off at the end of last season, or even take your skiing (or boarding) to the next level!
Why The SkiErg?
The Concept2 SkiErg was born out of Concept2 Vermont staff’s passion for skiing. During the winter months the Morrisville, VT office is surrounded with snow, transforming it into a winter wonderland that also serves as the training ground for the USA’s fledgling cross-country ski and biathlon teams. Looking for ways to stay fit for the ski season over the summer, and for a cross-training option for skiers when the weather rules out on-snow workouts; the Concept2 team turned the knowledge and expertise that has made them the global industry leader in Indoor Rowers, to producing a cross training machine for skiers. The result is a robust, quality piece of specialized equipment, featuring the iconic C2 flywheel technology, that provides and all-body, cardio and strength workout in a sequence relevant to ski movements and technique.
Preparing for Poling: The Upper-Body Phase
The SkiErg helps to develop upper body strength specific to poling on the slopes
Technique used in a SkiErg workout mirrors the propelling poling action of cross country skiers, which is in all types of skiing, be it downhill or recreational. The SkiErg stroke begins with the arms and elbows raised, drawing the handles down past the shoulders and through to the hips. In doing so, the movement engages all major muscle groups in the upper body- biceps, triceps, lats and shoulder muscles, providing a well-rounded workout for key muscles engaged on the slopes. You can regulate the resistance of your workout by adjusting the flywheel between one and ten, with one being a light resistance and ten a heavy resistance. This will enable you to build up strength progressively without risk of injury or stiffness, and also makes the SkiErg versatile enough to cater to all ages and abilities.
Braking and Turning: Conditioning The Legs
The SkiErg incorporates all major leg muscles, preparing you for any maneuver on the slopes
The second phase of the SkiErg movement transfers the resistance from the arms, through the core and into the major leg muscle groups. As the handle is drawn through to the hips, the knees begin the bend moving the body into a full squat position. From here, the SkiErg stroke moves into the recovery phase where the handles travel forward and upward, returning to the start position for the next stroke. In drawing the handles through into a squatting position, the glutes and quads are activated, helping to work and accelerate the resistance through to the end of the stroke- much like you would if you were poling on the snow. The simulation of this action that the SkiErg enables produces the perfect strength and conditioning workout for your legs in preparation for the snow, helping you to be ready for all the braking and turning you might call upon as you navigate your way down the slope.
Joint Mobilization and Core Stability
The SkiErg helps to mobilize muscles and joints, giving you stability and agility on the slopes.
One of the best things about skiing (excluding jumps and falls) is that it is a no-impact activity, so you don’t suffer from the jarring or wear of activities that require impact movements such as running or jumping. However, as we get older it is important to continue to mobilize the joints for skiing- especially the knees and ankles, to be prepared for the ski motion before hitting the slopes. Just like skiing, a SkiErg workout is completely impact free and allows you to nurture joint mobility without pain or stiffness. The SkiErg also works the core stabilizing muscles through the torso, aiding stability that will not only enhance your skiing experience, but also promote good posture and guard against injury in other sports and activities.