In this water ski how to, learn to build your body in the preseason for positive technique changes.
A skier’s ability to move through the water efficiently can be one of the most crucial aspects of slalom skiing. In the last 10 years, there has been increasing emphasis on the idea of countering and learning to accelerate your mass in the desired direction. This form of movement is integral to your efficiency on a slalom ski, and it uses your muscles in an entirely new way.
This exercise routine requires a mildly unstable surface and some form of weight. The best equipment to use is a BOSU Ball (flat side up) as the surface and a 10- to 15-pound medicine ball for weight. You can substitute an Indo Board or another balance board for the BOSU Ball, and a VersaBar for the medicine ball. Place the BOSU Ball or balance board in front of you, and if possible face a mirror so you can watch your movements. Then hold the medicine ball or VersaBar in both hands.
Step onto the BOSU Ball and stand in your slalom stance, with one foot in front of the other (you may need something stable to brace yourself so you can get into position safely). Lift the medicine ball in front of you, with your arms straight somewhere between waist and shoulder level. Be sure your movements are slow to maintain steady balance. Once this position is comfortable, slowly move the medicine ball to your right side by rotating your body from the core/hips. The weight of the medicine ball will require you to shift your mass slightly to the left as you twist. This movement simulates the initial twisting movement you make when pulling out for the gates in the slalom course or accelerating cross-course from a 1-3-5 turn.
Once you’re comfortable with this movement and have lots of stability, begin rotating back to the center, shifting your mass accordingly to maintain balance. Repeat the process on the left side of your body. This simulates an efficient cross-course position from a 2-4-6 turn in slalom. Throughout the exercise, check yourself in the mirror to ensure that you’re maintaining good posture and effectively twisting from the core. The mirror can also help you better grasp the countering concept.
This exercise is a dynamic full-body workout that simulates movements you make on the water. It’s a great supplement to normal training because it offers a more practical approach to your dry-land workouts. I work this exercise into my routine three or four times a week, doing three sets of 20 to 30 reps. It’s a great way to build muscle memory for more efficient movement behind the boat. It’s also not a bad way to tighten that unwanted bulge around your belly.
By: Seth Stisher Photo: Todd Ristorcelli
About the Author
Seth Stisher is the co-owner of H2Osmosis Sports and can be found coaching at his H2Oz Training Center located in Charleston, South Carolina, or on the road through his traveling clinics. For more information on working with Seth, check out h2osmosis.com or call 843-793-4470.