We rely heavily on something we call Scott’s Killer Core Routine, as detailed in Training for the New Alpinism. This is a progression Scott Johnston developed and fine-tuned over 25 years of training world-class cross-country skiers. Many of his athletes competed at the Olympic and World Cup level, so we’re confident in the efficacy of this program for endurance athletes. We’ve modified his time-tested routine here for ski mountaineering and skimo racing.
Ski Mountaineering Core Training: How to Do Scott’s Killer Core Routine
1. To learn the exercises, start with one time through the circuit per workout.
2. Do the routine in a circuit style with 30 seconds’ rest between exercises.
3. You’re finished with an exercise when:
- You complete 10–12 reps (5–6 per side if applicable);
- You can no longer hold the position;
- You cannot do another rep with correct form;
- You begin to shake.
4. Once you can add weight to the routine (or if you can do all the exercises with weight to begin with), then you’re strong enough to do the circuit twice.
5. Try easier versions of certain exercises.
6. There are more difficult versions of certain exercises.
7. Never allow poor form to take over. If you do, you’re defeating the purpose of the workout because you will be compensating for the weaker core muscles by using the stronger (or less fatigued) ones.
8. Breathe through every movement. Never hold your breath during an exercise.
9. As you gain strength you can simply drop certain exercises that become easy. They are no longer your limiters and dropping them will allow you time and energy to focus on your weaknesses.
10. You can keep adding circuits—up to 4 circuits. If you can do this routine four times and find it easy, drop the easy movements and up the resistance (or weight) in the remaining exercises that are most challenging.
Watch Scott’s Killer Core Routine to learn exactly how to do each exercise.
Ready to take your skimo training to the next level? Check out our ski mountaineering training plans and our skimo racing plans.