My shopping cart
Your cart is currently empty.Continue Shopping
For many years, medical professionals had me convinced the primary cause of my lower back pain was over-tight hamstrings. Because of this, I spent a lot of time stretching. My hamstring tightness is gone, but my lower back pain is not – why? Flexibility was never the issue. I’ve often been very flexible for someone my size: It’s a rare day when I can’t do a forward fold with both palms flat on the ground and knees straight. The problem lies in my hamstrings. They become so elongated that they struggle to contract far enough to properly engage. They aren’t weak, they’re being asked to do something I unknowingly trained them not to do.
So, flexibility – the ability of your muscles to stretch – is important. But, you can have too much of a good thing. If you over-stretch a rubber band, it loses its elasticity. I now focus on mobility. Mobility is the ability of a joint to move through its full range of motion without restriction or discomfort. Mobility takes the focus away from individual muscles and puts it on the entire joint. We don’t do much static stretching before or after training sessions at Gym Jones. We prefer movement to warm and cool the system.
All this is great, but the sun is still shining, the trails are just getting tuned up and the climbing is perfect. Why would I want to sweat in the gym when conditions outside are ideal? I’m with you, and if I didn’t work in a gym, I wouldn’t be inside either. The good news: You don’t need a gym to prep for winter.
Performing this simple circuit three to four times a week shouldn’t make you overly sore or tired. It should complement your regular summer recreational activities. All you need is a little space and a watch (I use an interval app on my phone) and you can do it just about anywhere.
Circuit: This is a body weight circuit that shouldn’t take more than five to ten minutes per round. The idea is not to rest until after the entire circuit is complete. Depending on your fitness level, time available and how hard you want to work, I recommend at least two rounds and even up to ten. I do this three to four times, especially when traveling.
The below circuit starts at 1:17 in the video above. To track improvement, record time for one round and watch it decrease over time. This circuit is designed to strengthen the posterior chain, help it to wake up and fire properly, increase cardiovascular capacity, and strengthen and stabilize the core.
The most neglected part of most workouts is the cool-down. Take a five-minute walk, move through some yoga poses and/or spend a few minutes foam rolling. A proper cool-down is critical to the body’s ability to recover fully from exertion.
At the end of the day, as much as I enjoy skiing, I find it a lot more fun when I’m not fighting my own fatigue and soreness. Hopefully this helps prep you for ski season without taking away from what’s left of your summer fun.
Missed the window for summer ski prep? Check out this 6-week guide to ski fitness.
by Jake Hutchinson
Jake has spent more than 25 years working as an avalanche professional. He is currently a lead instructor for the American Avalanche Institute, an avalanche dog handler and trainer and an avalanche safety consultant to the resort and rescue communities. Off the snow, Hutchinson is a Certified Instructor and former Head of Instructor and Seminar Development for Gym Jones in Salt Lake City. He is currently involved in private personal training with an emphasis on high level functional fitness for mountain and military athletes.