Steamboat trainers offer ski, snowboard fitness classes

Old Town Hot Springs members do lateral jumps up the stairs at the rodeo grounds Thursday as part of a ski fitness class.

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Old Town Hot Springs personal trainer Chris Voyvodic works with Andrew Henry on Thursday at the rodeo grounds.

Ski and snowboard fitness classes

Old Town Hot Springs: noon to 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, already in progress, $150 for members and $175 for nonmembers

Forever Fit: 5:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays beginning Oct. 8, $200

Anytime Fitness: 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays from Oct. 2 to Nov. 15, $130 for members and $160 for nonmembers

• Colorado Mountain College: 11:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays from Oct. 2 to Nov. 15, $56

Fusion Fit: 7:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays from Oct. 2 to Nov. 7, free for members, $140 for two classes per week or $85 for one class per week

— It can be illustrated without words.

Local personal trainer Tony Rosso, co-owner of Forever Fit, expressed the key to preparing for an injury-free ski season by holding one hand just below his chest and the other just above his knee.

“Butt and gut,” he said.

In preparing for the impending winter sports season, it’s all about a strong core. But it’s no easy road to get there.

So, Rosso and several other trainers in town are offering various options for ski fitness classes aimed at helping local athletes of all levels ease into the winter season by preparing muscles for the movement of skiing.

Many of the classes that haven’t started begin next week or the week after, usually running about an hour or more twice per week.

Fusion Fit personal trainer Sarah Coleman, who is leading the class there, said that’s plenty of time.

“It’s a great head start,” said Coleman, whose class begins at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday. “I’ve been teaching this class for seven years. Every single year, (students) ski that first day and that first week, and they’re like, ‘Wow.’ I even notice a difference after a couple weeks.”

Coleman said she will focus the intense 45-minute class on plyometrics, strength building, balance and core work with the intention of preventing injuries, or "pre-hab," as she calls it.

Functionally fit

Just plain getting into shape isn’t enough to make it through a (hopefully) long season safely.

That’s because ski and snowboard fitness classes prepare a specific group of muscles to work together in a specific way to complete a movement not seen in everyday activity.

“In the same way it applies to any athlete, you must have functional strength in order to ski,” Rosso said. “The same way you wouldn’t just put on cleats and run into an NFL game, you can’t just slap on skis and go 35 mph down a hill.”

And the best predictor of future injuries? Past injuries. And most skiers and snowboarders have them.

At Forever Fit, a small class limited to six people will get a personalized injury prevention program including a functional movement screening (the same test used by the NFL and NHL) and a dysfunction and asymmetry evaluation, which Rosso then will use to incorporate corrective movements into the workout plan.

“There’s not a blanket program,” Rosso said.

Old Town Hot Springs already has begun its eight-week ski fitness program, led by personal trainer Chris Voyvodic.

The avid Telemark skier said it’s the only class he teaches. During Thursday’s 1 1/2-hour class, he used skiing terms, like inside and outside edges, to encourage his students to train their muscles to work together in a way that will become automatic once the snow falls.

“This is not general fitness,” he told them as they squatted, leaped and ran up and down the concrete stairs at the Brent Romick Rodeo Arena. Some of the students said it hurt to walk or sit down after the first class because the exercise worked the glute muscles so intensely.

Voyvodic said functional training, like dynamic squats, is far more important than cardiovascular training, which he said is the “easy part.”

“You have to prepare your muscles to hold your joints in the best position possible,” he said. “It’s not (training) any specific muscle; it’s how they all work together.”

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@ExploreSteamboat.com

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