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Balance, Strength and FUN

Training Tip by Glenn Bond

I am a big believer that cross country skiing is easier with good balance and functional strength. Of course endurance is priority #1 but I find most masters skiers have good endurance if they have been in a sport such as cross country skiing, cycling, running, triathlon, mtn biking, canoeing, and kayaking. Sports like these all build great endurance.

I want to focus on balance and strength in this article. Balance and strength can be incorporated into your everyday routines such as putting on your socks standing up without leaning on the bed or the wall. Give it a try. It is harder than you think. When you do strength training at a gym or home, use an exercise ball instead of a bench to challenge your stability. Challenge your stability by standing on one leg for all standing exercises, sit or lie on the ball for shoulder press, chest press and weight work. To keep things fun and to improve functional strength mix up your routine as much as possible; look at what other people are doing in the gym. If it looks safe, try it. You tube has endless workout routines to mix it up. I have become a big fan of the “TRX” suspension training; which is intense, innovative, functional training that enhances strength and balance at the same time. Try a cross fit class as they really make things interesting.

Expose your weaknesses; everyone gravitates toward what they are good at. Do exercises that are difficult for you; check the ego at the door. When we focus on our weaknesses that is when big improvements are made.