It started with a simple question: “If a farm kid wrestled a city kid, and you were a betting person, where’s your money?”
Nearly all responses are the same: the farm kid. But why? What makes doing chores and moving our whole body to accomplish tasks so effective? Why are these farm kids so strong? The answers lie in the very nature of our design. Human bodies are, for the most part, designed to perform task-oriented, full-body movements. That is how our nerves, muscles, joints, connective tissues adapt, remodel and become resilient in the most optimal way.
It is this perspective, and the science that supports it, that was the genesis for the invention and foundation behind the ViPR PRO product. Simply, it is similar to a bale of hay (i.e., what most farm kids get used to lifting), without the mess. The intention with using the ViPR PRO product is functional training—performing whole-body, integrated movements, which are task based, exactly what you would do performing chores in life. Farm kids intuitively know this, and modern athletes know this. From Patrick Mahomes to Steph Curry, from Joel Embiid to Fernando Tatis. Jr., they all incorporate movement-based, functional training using the ViPR PRO.
As with elite athletes, consideration needs to be made when looking at improvement in movement and athleticism. Strength, stamina, mobility, motor control (i.e., the ability of the nervous system to control range of motion and body-wide movements) and power all have to be present in order to achieve long-term success in all of the activities we love. And so it is with skiing, in unique ways.
SKIING REQUIRES STRENGTH.
An ability to generate force. Specifically, skiing requires movement-based strength and odd-position strength (uncommon postures when generating force).
SKIING REQUIRES STAMINA.
The ability to continue, or repeat, muscle contractions, which includes strength endurance with an efficient cardio system.
SKIING REQUIRES MOBILITY.
The ability to move within a complete range of motion with full control and capacity.
SKIING REQUIRES MOTOR CONTROL.
A unique ability for the nervous system to be trained to orchestrate all movements and muscle contractions body-wide.
SKIING REQUIRES POWER.
The body’s ability to generate force quickly.
When we are exposed to these biological abilities, we significantly reduce injury risk, increase our performance, and improve our experiences in sport and activity.
Here, we showcase several exercises using the ViPR PRO. We call this type of training “Loaded Movement Training,” and it is functional training that gets you strong, coordinated and balanced, by performing functional movements.
If you do not have a ViPR PRO product, fear not: a simple broom handle, shovel, or hockey stick can take its place. Although it will be significantly lighter, the benefits can still be realized as you introduce these movements into your ski conditioning.
Start by incorporating one or two of these exercises into your current training. This way, the integration is simple, and your body will begin to experience some functional training. As you progress, you can start to incorporate all of these exercises into your training, eventually performing them two to three times per week.
Using these exercises and understanding the value behind them will build movement and functional capacity in your body, so that you may enjoy skiing, while tolerating the specific demands of this activity. This means you’ll be able to do it for as long as you enjoy it!
1) WARM-UP EXERCISE– SPLIT FORWARD TILT
† Begin in a neutral stance
† Perform step-back lunge, and with the same side arm, tilt ViPR PRO forward
† Only reach to your comfortable limit, and keep the back long throughout the exercise
2) STRENGTH EXERCISE – ODD POSITION SQUAT
† Begin by positioning the ViPR PRO overhead, and offset, as shown
† Hold the ViPR PRO (and arms) in that position, while performing a series of squats
† Repeat the next set of squats with the arms positioned to the opposite side
† Only squat to your comfortable limit, and keep the back long throughout the exercise
3) STRENGTH EXERCISE – FUNCTIONAL LUNGE
† Begin in a neutral stance, holding the ViPR PRO at chest height
† Take a large side step, and move your hips over the lunging foot, as shown. The trail knee should be straight
† Hold the side lunge while performing a forward reach with the trail-side arm (as shown). Step back and return to neutral
† Only lunge to your comfortable limit, and keep the back long throughout the exercise
4) STRENGTH EXERCISE – FUNCTIONAL ROTATION
† Begin in a squat position, using a ‘shovel’ hold with the ViPR PRO (as shown)
† Squat up while performing a shovel action with the hands (as shown)
† Use a controlled speed and make sure to pivot the back foot as you are shoveling up (note the trail foot in the end position – above right)
† Only squat to your comfortable limit, and avoid over-follow-through with the hands
Unlike a barbell that essentially “locks” you into certain grips, positions, and movements, the ViPR encourages you to move in a dynamic way that is unique to your body. The multiplanar nature of the ViPR trains your body to recognize where one body part is in relation to another, where an outside force is acting on your body, and, most importantly, how to move in a way that optimizes these factors. Mobility and strength are often separate, even conflicting, components of a training program. The ViPR allows you to improve strength and mobility simultaneously, and ultimately express your strength through greater ranges of motion.