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April 2017
Fitness and sport
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The new trend on the slopes comes from Germany and involves using a newly designed ‘board’ that is a cross between a ski, a snowboard and a sledge. It is a singular ski, which can vary in length (90-150cm), attached to a small seat which the athlete can sit back on when travelling down a slope. It is called a Yeski and, as well as being innovative and very fun, it allows users to suitably train their abdominals, arms and legs.

The Yeski, which weighs 5kg, is quite robust so it can hold up even the more heavier users. The model which the Yeski, also known as a skibock, sci-Geibel, Gemel or Bockl, is based on dates back to some years ago, when it was assembled manually: an old ski was used and a small seat was attached to this, and possibly handles too to make it more stable. The Yeski is based on the same principle, even though the way it is made is completely different: the ski used is not a disused one, rather it is a carving ski of the latest generation. The seat, made of beech wood, is attached to the ski via an aluminium pole and this is attached to an aluminium handrail used to manoeuvre the Yeski. The whole assemble process is aimed at creating a very robust yet light and manageable board to go downhill. Once on the board, all the user has to do is sit upright on the seat and start sliding down the slope, and the hands must have a firm grip on the handles to control the board whilst going downhill. You can change direction using the legs and body weight. Once you are more confident with the board, you can try out slopes at a faster speed, and, by leaning backwards, you can improve how aerodynamic the board is, but be careful: only do this is the slope is free of skiers and obstacles and only do so for a short time.

To be very skilled at Yeskiing, you must stay still when seated both for stability reasons and to manage changes of direction in the best way possible using your feet. When going downhill, the body is put under a lot of strain and all the body’s muscles are tested to the maximum. In order to be able to do this, you need to work on the core muscles (abdominals, obliques and lumbars). The legs are used to change direction, whilst the arms and all the muscles in the thorax in general are exercised throughout the descent because they are used to keep the body attached to the seat. In summary, the Yeski is a board that allows you to train a large part of the body’s muscles, making it a very complete sport because it stimulates all muscle groups. This sport is not risky as far as joints are concerned, and if all safety rules are followed, you can even go downhill on a Yeski without creating any risks for the musculoskeletal system. Being careful is fundamental though, especially during the first few runs. To avoid any type of problem, it is important to warm up before starting and do a small amount of athletic training in the gym a few months before the winter season begins.
Outdoor activities require a more intense warm up than indoor activities, and those done on snow require a 15-20 minute warm up at least before starting because of the low temperature and adverse weather conditions. The exercises should be carried out in the valley before getting on the Yeski. Starting to Yeski when the muscles and ligaments are ready increases your reflexes, whereas going down slopes in poor psychophysical conditions puts not only your health but also the health of other slope users at risk. Only a few essential actions are required to prevent a day on the snow from turning into a series of pitfalls and accidents for yourself and others on the slopes. Once you are in the valley, and before putting on your shoes, do some jumps or running on the spot for 5-10 minutes. Following this, you can do some joint mobility movements for both the upper and lower parts of the body, as well as light stretching exercises. Circling the arms, lifting the arms above the head and doing star jumps are just some of the movements you could do to warm up the muscles and joints. It is also a good idea to do some spine lengthening exercises together with these exercises, as well as warming up all the other areas that are worked during Yeskiing, such as the quadriceps, gastrocnemius muscles, back and neck. Now, the body is ready to deal with the day of winter sports ahead. Do not forget though, that Yeski Yeski is a real sporting activity so you cannot go straight to the slopes without having done any exercise all year. The best way to prevent any dangers is to dedicate a few months to training at the gym; 2 months is enough to prepare the body adequately for the winter sport season.

A good training programme should improve the following physical components:
aerobic (the body’s ability to deal with prolonged physical activity);
strength (strengthen muscles, ligaments and joints);
proprioception and balance, substantially improving the body’s ability to relate to the surrounding environment (fundamental characteristics, especially when you have to change direction on the Yeski or avoid sudden obstacles).

Training programme for Yeski

ExerciseSet x RepTimeNote
Cycling8 min.

Squats with bell bar down to the parallel line2 x 15120 secGood execution technique and gradual overload

Lunges with weights2 x 1690 secAlternate the legs and put particular emphasis on the posterior thigh muscles

Weight lifting2 x 8120 secChest, shoulders and triceps

Chin-ups with reverse hold on the bar2 x 6120 zecDorsals and biceps

Lifts to the shoulder with weights2 x1290 secTrapezium

Hyper-extensions2 x1260 secLumbars and spinal erector muscles

Sit-ups at the bar2 x 1060 secAbdominals

Exercises on rotating table3 x 1 min90 secProprioception and balance

Ski simulator15 min
Aerobic training in preparation for the snow

Stretching5 min
Exercises for the major muscles groups

Training can be carried out twice a week with 2-3 days of recovery between one session and the next.

Benefits and advice
• It is extremely fun.
• Adequately trains all the muscles in the body: core, chest and legs.
• The risks for the musculoskeletal system are very low as long as the main safety rules are followed.
• Always carry out a quick warm-up before descending the slope.
• Dedicate at least 2 months a year to athletic training.
• Wear comfortable clothes that let you move freely (such as snowboard trousers, snow show and a ski mask).
• Always stay seated and control the board.
• Only stay lying flat for a short amount of time and only after having checked the slope is free of skiers and obstacles.
• Keep the hands solidly anchored to the handle; being in control of this board is fundamental for avoiding accidents.


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