Core Strength

This format may not fit with everyone’s schedule, the goal of this template is simply to give you an idea of what type of off-season training should look like. As the water ski season come closer, decrease the strength days to 2x a week and increase the interval training to 2x week with one steady state cardio.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Strength:Lower Body Push


Upper Body Pull

Intervals:Rower Sprints 500 meters 3xBattle Ropes Strength:Lower Body Pull 

Upper Body Push

Steady State Cardio:Bike RideRun


Full Body Strength:Kettlebell Swing 


Leave Saturday or Sunday do to something active that you enjoy like yoga or long walks. Let these be your active recovery days, continue to move.



I love questions! Please leave your questions below.

For now enjoy these core exercises

Core is more than just our abs, it shoulders and hips as well. Here are two core exercises that target all aspects of our true core.

Plank Shoulder Taps

  • Elbows are stacked under the shoulders. Spine is a neutral position.
  • To make sure hips are in the correct position think if you had a tail you are the “shameful dog” hiding your tail. So you are tucking your hips under turning on your pelvic floor.
  • Once in the correct position, shifting all your weight to one arm as you lift the opposite arm tapping the shoulder.


Benefits: Shoulder stabilization, deep core activation, and hip stabilizers.


Pillar Crunch

  • Placing the Elastic Band around the middle of your feet extend one leg driving through the heel. With the opposite leg, pull your knee toward your shoulders.
  • As you lift the shoulders off the ground think of lifting your chest toward the sky.

Benefits: Turns on your glutes of the extended leg and works your hip flexor correctly in conjunction to your abs.

Power and Strength

While listening the Coach Glass’s Podcast (episode #43 Season Training Pt1) he posed a question “What are the power/strength requirements of your sport?” As he started to go into details of the importance of understanding this, I asked myself this question toward water skiing.  With water skiing being a very skilled sport I wondered, “Can I really answer this question to help develop the right off season training without getting out on the water?”  So I reached out to the water ski community to ask their thoughts with this question on Facebook.  Here are the main things people replied:


Leg strength


Mental Awareness

Tension and Relaxation



I have been told water skiing is similar to golf simply because it is such a mental sport.  With golf and water skiing being both more of a mental sports, I have found there are many other similarities. Even though I do not play golf as a movement coach I can see the similar movement patterns between both sports which are rotation and power.

Coach Jason Glass is one of the world’s top Golf Strength & Conditioning Specialist, and he uses the kettlebell swing for many of his golfer’s exercise programing.   Both golf and water ski are very skilled and technical sports demanding a lot of mental strength while at the same time can be very taxing physically (at least water skiing sorry golfers). Learning the kettlebell swing is a very technical skilled and strength exercise.  The basic movement of the kettlebell swing requires the same aspects of water skiing.

It is all about  improving your mental awareness, producing the right body position and finding the correct timing for tension and relaxation.

When I was first learning the proper way to swing a kettlebell, all three aspects I had to own.  The skill has to be learned in order to build strength from the swing. Training a skilled exercise like the Kettlebell swing can only produced a larger mental awareness to be able to own the skill of any sport. If we can’t learn how to develop mental awareness on land how are we suppose to develop this on water?

As I learned the (and still learn) the correct position to swing, I started to see and feel how position is key to produce the power from a swing.  Similar to water skiing, if not in the right position we will not be able to generate the power from the boat through our body to the ski (still learning the correct position for water skiing as well).  While at the same time the position of the swing requires different movement (bottom of the swing and top of the swing) and timing starts to take a major aspect to the skill.

Like April Coble has said water skiing is like a dance, it is rhythmic. Part the swing and water skiing is understanding the timing. When is the perfect time is to create the tension and relaxation?  How to manage both is key.  Whitney McClintock says “You don’t have to be the strongest person, you just need to have the right power at the right hand gate ball…” I enjoy the kettlebell swing simply because it forces me to create the right tension at the right time.  When you don’t the kettlebell is out of control doing it’s own dance.

From my experience when creating to much tension at the wrong time while water skiing, I have find myself in the water verses on top of the water.  I hope one day to be able to learn from Whitney how to create the right power at the right time.

For now I will continue to practice my swing this winter and listen to Coach Glass for more tips.  As Coach Glass would say Dream Big and Over Deliver and as I like to say live with passion!


Snatch test 16kg 100 in 5:22
Ist Snatch test 16kg 100 in 5:22 July 2013

There are many physical benefits from the Kettlebell Swing

Core Strength

Leg power and strength

Grip Strength and endurance

See my previous post Kettlebell Quickie for more benefits of the Kettlebell Swing!

Kettlebell Quickie

As a water skier,  I try to generate workouts that will transfer well to when I am on the water. One of my favorite exercise is the Kettlebell Swing.  It generates strength and power all at the same time.  Here are some of the benefits of the Swing:

  • Turns a person into a Fat Burning Machine
  • Improves Core Strength
  • Builds a Strong Back
  • Improve Breathing Patterns
  • Produces Power
  • Healthy on the Joints
  • Forces the Glutes to turn on
  • Strengthens the entire body
  • Creates Body awareness
  • Time Effecient

One of my favorite reasons why I love workout with Kettlebells is because it is very time efficient. Here is a video of one my routines.  It is 3 sets of 10 Double Kettlebell Swings then right into 5 Front Squats (video only shows one set).  If you are not familiar with the basics of the Swing I would not recommend you start with doubles.  If you are interested in learning more about the swing please leave your comments.  Enjoy



Next post I will be working a three basic core exercises that are simple and can be done any where.

Plus I will also be working on a little surprise for all the water skiers as we all enter into off season training.

Hamstring Prep for Water Skiers

I have been receiving many questions on how to project your hamstrings when water skiing.   Here are some very basic movements before hitting the water.  The key with these movements are to make sure you meet your body’s current range of motion (ROM).

There is always a progression that we  can work towards.  Do not force your body if it is not ready for the next level.  Just like we all want to cut rope and if we are not ready for the next rope length, it will not be beneficially for our skiing. Same thing with these movements, consistently work at the level you are at and then you will soon be able to move to the next level.  Enjoy!!! Happy Hamstrings make a Happy Skier.

Seated Ankle Circles:

  • Sitting nice and tall with legs straight, start pointing and pulling your toes  (plantar and dorisflexion).
  • Next draw circles one direction then the opposite direction
  • Avoid moving your thighs and hip, this is simply to create good range of motion for your ankles

No Progression with this movement

Benefits: passive stretch for hamstrings, improves ankle range of motion, creates lower body awareness between ankle and hip movements 

Active Leg Stretch:

  • Laying down on your back one foot on the floor other leg is straight up in the air
  • Note: It doe not matter how high your leg gets.  This is where you need to listen to your body.  If  your leg starts to bend when you raise it higher you have gone to far.  Bring it back down to where you feel the stretch but your leg is straight at the same time.  Switch back and forth about 4x.
  • When you find the magic spot for your stretch, begin the “ballerina toes” same movement that you did when sitting.  Continue to switch back and forth 4 x

Progression: Scissors with or without ballerina toes repeat 4x.  If you cannot keep your both legs straight, practice with the one foot on the ground.

Note: This progression may not be for you, at least not yet.  Practice with your foot on the ground and you will soon gain more flexibility with your hamstrings to be able to progress to straight legs.

Benefits:  Hip mobility and ankle mobility, hamstring stretch, and core stability. 

Single Leg RDL

  • As you lower your chest down kick through your heal creating a straight line from your head to heal
  • The stable leg will slightly bend, making your glutes activacte
  • Repeat 3-4 sets of 6-12 reps on each leg alternating back and forth

Progression: Raising the active leg to hip height as you return to standing position

Benefits: strengthens gluteus and hamstring , improves balance, core stability, and increase hip range of motion

Next week  I will be posting a Kettlebell routine I do when days are to busy for me to get up the lake.  It is quick, simple and challenging all at the same time.

Please leave your comments below of other exercises you would like to see in future post.  Thanks

Skier’s Shoulder Mobility Warm Up


I know for myself I have developed many different shoulder problems and the more I talk to other skier many have suffered rotator cuff surgeries and/or bicep tears. This sport demands us to have incredible range of motion and strong shoulders at the same time. The amount of torque that our bodies go through while holding not the most natural position.  We start to develop a lot of asymmetries and a lock up T-spine (mid-back). Resulting in a hypo-mobile lower back and causing chronic back pain.  Here are some exercises I have discovered from working with my Physical Therapist Christopher Johnson to help address these issues.


Most of these exercises are performed in a ½ kneeling position but all can be performed in full kneeling position (aka tall kneeling) standing or split stance. I recommend working from the ground up with ½ kneel or full kneel then to standing positions.  Click on the link below for the video.



  • Reach the same arm as leg that is down, palm up, back arm palm facing down
  • Looking at your palm, rotate and look at back while hand switching positions
  • If you were to think of doing the splits with your upper body this would be it
  • Repeat 5 “ish”reps and 1-2 sets


Benefits: Shoulder stretch,  and T-spine rotation, (increase your reach for the going around the buoys)



  • Using a small Kettlebell, grab on the horns (side handles) have it bottom up
  • Lift your left hand to the right side of your head, then to the back of your head so that the kettlebell is bottoms down. Let the right hand follow “naturally”
  • Allow the Kettlebell to trace a Halo around your head; trace it one direction then the opposite direction right after.
  • Repeat 3 “ish” reps 1-2 set; one direction then the opposite equals one rep


Benefits: T-spine mobility, Core activation, corrects any asymmetries


Bottom Up Single Arm Rotation

  • Start with Kettlebell in the same hand as leg that is down. Make sure you have a good balance of the bell first
  • Rotate and reach as far as you can without loosing balance while opening up shoulder
  • Repeat 3 “ish” reps 1-2 set


Benefits: T-spine rotation, Core activation, grip strength, shoulder mobility and strength 



Enjoy and let me know how it helps with your skiing

Ski you later




“Fish out of water” aka Injuried

Many of you as water skiers have dealt with some type of injury and understand how the pain impacts you physically and mentally. Unfortunately, I can relate. Two years ago I dealt with a back/rib injury. For my back and rib to heal, I was prescribed to take a week off of work and have no physical strain on the body.

Almost two years to the date, I was prescribed to take time off from work again (this time three weeks) for a condition called Osteitis Pubis. Devastated to be in the same situation again, mentally I had to tell myself it is for the best, but my body struggled. Being a personal trainer, I am constantly moving. My body started craving movement. The first week of sitting on my “ice diaper” at night I would have night mares of exercising.  These were night mares! For theses dream were failing the Kettlebell Snatch text, and falling every time I would water ski.  As you could see my mind was freaking out without being able to move. This is when I started to feel like a “fish out of water.”

Desperate to get back into my normal routine, I did everything I thought would help speed the recover process. I did Pulse Electric Magnetic Field (PEMF), Chiropractor, Physical Therapy, Rolfing massage and Shiatsu massage. Having difficulty walking without pain, I decided to only do one of these treatments at a time. I was able to go Healing Foundations in Post Falls, ID for the PEMF treatments. PEMF helps decrease the inflammation and help with the increase of cells growth. After a full week of these treatments, I was able to walk with less pain.

Excited to be making progress, I soon started Physical Therapy. After the first time working with Christopher Johnson, a Physical Therapist at Olympic PT in Bellevue, I wanted to skip out of the office I felt so good. Instead of focusing on the location of the pain, he focused on the possible cause.   He noticed how my ankles have limited range of motion (ROM) and my hips were compensating for it. Understanding the kinetic chain, I completely recognize if one joint does not have the right ROM then another joint will start compensating.

He has taught me how to use the VooDoo Floss Band to help increase my ankle mobility. With the focus being my ankles, I am happy to say the pain has decreased and I have been able to return to some form of exercises (oh and the night mares have also decreased).

Through this experience I realize it is my responsibility to recover being smart with my progressions.  Knowing it will be slow progression and but it will be a healthy progression. Even though it has been extremely difficult being out of work and lack of any physical outlet, I am excited what I have been learning about the human body through this injury, how it relates to water skiing.

Besides learning more about the human body, I have learned the importance of empathy towards one another. There are many of us who have dealt with pain some more visible than others.  With being a trainer I always try to show empathy toward my clients. Having experience with chronic pain, my hope is to help others just like Chris has helped me. I see the value of one’s health and the joy it brings to others.

If you are a water skier who has dealt with injury after injury, or someone who deals with chronic pain, I will be posting some of the simple movement patterns that have helped me to recover.

With it already it being “water ski season,” I had been talking to Chris about my sport and how to stay bullet proof. Stay tuned for more post about the importance of shoulders for water skiing. See the amazing mobility and strengthening exercises I have learned from Chris Johnson!





Goals – Turkish Get Up

A goal can be defined as the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.

Goals are used in many areas of life and are very helpful to improve the quality of life.  There are many key concepts to setting and achieving goals (read New years 2013 post for Smart Goals).  However the main key I have found to be successful with conquering goals is the power of will and daily belief.  No matter how long it may take you to accomplish your goals the fight to continue the path towards them may be less traveled, may be hard, and may seem impossible at times, but the power of will and belief will always lead you a step closer.  No matter how long it may take to accomplish your goals, never give up.  Daily you have a choice to take a step closer to your goals.

Willard 24kg TGU

Last year I had a goal to be able to do a Turkish Get Up, not only do Turkish Get Up but do it with a 24 kg Kettlebell.  At that time it seemed impossible since I could barely accomplish one with a shoe on my hand.  Yet I did not give up on my goal.  It took a full year of training daily and consistently practicing the get up.  It was an honor to  able to accomplish this goal with my good friend and Co-worker CJ Erkisonon on his last day at PRO Sport Club.  Thank you CJ for you help and support I could not have done this without your expertise. Clink on the link for the video.

Off Season Training Begins

This past weekend I was able to compete in my fist tactical strength competition.  It consisted of max dead lift, max pull ups and the 5 min snatch test.  Those who are not familiar with the snatch text, it is completing as many kettle snatches you can within the 5 mins.  I accomplished a 205 lb dead lift, 14 pull ups and 105 snatches.  However, I could not have completed any of this without the amazing encouragement that was surrounding me from all the other competitors.

The best part of the day was seeing how strength brought strangers to friends, friends to encouragers and  encouragers to competitors within minutes.  The atmosphere was filled with motivation and inspiration, like a forest set on fire the motivation and inspiration started burning inside each of us in hopes to do our best.  As a result, many people had personal record  PR (in water skiing we call this personal best PB).  It was amazing to see and be a part of the determination, the strength and the encouragement from everyone wanting to improve their physical abilities.

As any competitor, we want a t-shirt to wear for bragging rights.  This was the shirt rewarded to all the competitors.


I love the quote on the back of the shirt.  As a personal trainer, I believe strength does have a greater meaning.  For some, strength is losing weight, others may be a fight against cancer,  or it might be like my case a back injury and being able to walk pain free is strength. For me,  strength is a tool, a hope to use as inspiration for others.  Many of you know my story (and if you don’t you can read previous post about my back injury) and from this story of healing I hope I am able to inspire others to never give up on their dreams.  It is people and their stories that motivate me to continue to strive for my best, yet there is still a greater meaning to strength for me.

Snatch Test 105

As a competitor I am constantly reminded where my strength comes from:

  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go ~Joshua 1:9

He is my strength and power.

Strong First

God First

Learning from the Pros

This past week has been a week of learning new skills and putting them to use.  It first started with a weekend workshop for Functional Movement Screen (FMS).  With learning more about my past injuries and the reason behind them, it has made me as a profession understand the importance of movement patterns and if these movement patterns are not functioning correctly it could cause injuries.  The FMS is a serious of seven different movement patterns evaluating the quality of the movement. As a personal trainer, part of my job is to help people move efficiently and correctly. I have already started applied this to some of my clients and myself and already starting to see improvements. FMS is a great certification for those in the health profession and highly recommend it.

After the three day weekend of learning my brain was already on information overload. Yet I was stoked  to continue to learn for the following Monday Wade Cox was coming to our lake!!!  I was beyond thrilled to ski with Wade. There were many things I learned from Wade to take my skiing to the next level. The best part of skiing with him was he remembered me from two summers ago when I was able to ski with him right before Nationals. Knowing my areas of weakness, I know I will be able to master these weakness into my strengths through hard work and dedication. Part of learning is having a better understanding on where the areas that need improvements.

There is always areas to learn or improve in through my career and my sport.  Another certification I am training for is the Level 1 Strong First Kettlebell certification (SFG)  in November in Vancouver BC. Part of this certification is to be able to do 100 snatched with a 16kg in 5 min.  My co-worker CJ Erickson, who is training for his level 2 SFG and who has coached me through my kettlebell training, video me doing a mock snatch test on July 4th (crazy way to celebrate the 4th of July). If you click to enlarge the pictures you will find the URL of the video.  I completed the test in 5:22.  I was hoping for my first time to do it under 5 min.  However, I now know what to expect and how to train better for it.  I will be doing another mock test in September, but till then I will be either ripping it up on the water or hitting it hard in the gym.