Will Asher, slalom skiing’s 2009 World champion, is at the top of his game and he plans on staying there. But in order to be successful on the water, Asher knows he must stay on the water. Here’s how Asher stays healthy and injury-free during the grueling professional slalom skiing season.
While it is important to build strength through the traditional methods (shoulder presses), I am routinely looking to stabilize my shoulders before an injury can occur.
Medicine ball push-ups: With one hand on a small medicine ball, perform a classic push-up. Do 10 push-ups before switching hands.
Internal/external rotations: Affix a Thera-Band (rubber band used for rehab purposes) to a solid object and stand a few feet to the side. With your elbow at a 90-degree angle, rotate your shoulder internally, like you are closing a door. After 10 reps, turn 180 degrees so the band is coming across your body. Now rotate your shoulder externally 10 times, like you are opening a door. Repeat with the other shoulder.
To prevent the sort of nagging back injury that routinely keeps skiers off the water, I keep my core as strong as possible.
Plank: Assume a modified push-up position, resting on your elbows instead of your hands. Keep your midsection as tight as possible to avoid sagging toward the floor. Work toward holding this position for 60 seconds.
Side plank: From the standard plank position, roll onto your side, bracing yourself on your left elbow and the outside of your left foot. Keep as straight as possible. Work toward holding the position for 60 seconds, then switch sides.
Because of the huge loads we place on our bodies, it’s important to keep your hips as strong and mobile as possible.
Front swings: Hold onto something sturdy with your left hand and swing your right leg forward and back in a punter’s kicking motion. Work toward a head-high kick. After 12 to 15 swings, switch sides.
Lateral swings: Now swing your right leg back and forth, out to the right and down in front of your left leg. After 12 to 15 swings, switch legs.