So Wrong It's Right

Ramp up for winter thrills with counterintuitive cross-training

Dec 1, 2004
Outside Magazine

Mix master: What do push-ups have to do with snowboarding?

IF YOU'RE A SKIER, snowboarder, or skater, there's a catchphrase you should keep in mind this winter: "Bode knows."

That's because Bode Miller—a top slalom and giant-slalom skier on the World Cup circuit and a double medalist at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City—provides a perfect example of what serious off-snow cross-training can do for your on-snow (or on-ice) performance.

"Bode's an excellent tennis player. He's an excellent soccer player. That's what sets him apart on the racecourse," says Ron Kipp, a Park City, Utah–based technique consultant to the Norwegian downhill team. "His ski style is not necessarily superior to anyone else's. It's just that he has that extra agility from his ball-sports background to get away with mistakes on his runs that would ruin a less capable athlete.

"I see a lot of skiers with good technique who don't progress further as athletes," Kipp says of people who don't cross-train off the mountain. "They do everything right, but they just don't have a lot of extra pop in their style, and that's what'll take their skills to the next level."

Make like Miller this winter and you too can tap into an extra dose of skill and power. To get there, add a Monday-to-Thursday cross-training activity that will boost performance in your Saturday-to-Sunday cold-weather sport. Whatever level of expertise you bring to your winter pursuits, one of the following exercises is guaranteed to improve your precious days on frozen H2O. Run through the appropriate drill twice a week, and when the weekend comes around, you'll be ready to rip.

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