Have you ever ridden a chairlift and seen someone weaving through a mogul run seemingly effortlessly? Unless they did a backflip with their skis crossed, landed in the bumps, continued navigating through and finished in less than thirty seconds, it probably wasn't Jaelin Kauf. Freestyle mogul skiing is arguably the most demanding professional skiing discipline. Quads of steel? Check. Rock hard core? Check. Tricks you only thought were possible in gymnastics? Check. Jaelin gives us a peek into what it takes to train for skiing moguls for a living with the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team.
Spyder: How have you been training this past summer for the upcoming World Cup season, given the limitations from the pandemic?
Jaelin Kauf: We definitely had to get a lot more creative because we’re doing a lot more at-home workouts… I’ve been focusing on doing my workouts with a TRX® system, exercise ball, and homemade squat rack pretty much.
S: Do you guys do any at-home workouts together via Zoom? How do you keep the team encouraged?
JK: Every Friday we do a team Zoom call to go over previous workouts and any questions about future ones, as well as generally just maintain the team atmosphere since we can’t be together all the time. It’s definitely tougher to maintain that team culture while we’re all remote, though. I’ve been working out with my boyfriend to at least have a workout buddy to help me stay motivated.
S: How do you stay motivated to train during the offseason?
JK: Snow beginning to fall in the mountains definitely provides more motivation that winter’s coming… Getting out and biking or running also serves as a great way to get outdoors and start getting strong for the season.
S: Are there any particular workouts you think us normal folks could add to our own offseason training regimens?
JK: It’s definitely good to balance everything… People tend to focus on just quads [for leg day], but a lot of people, especially women, don’t work on hamstrings, which can make you more prone to injury; particularly ACL injuries!
S: What kind of mogul-specific training have you been doing?
JK: Not a whole lot, unfortunately. There’s not a lot you can do beside mogul skiing that can completely get you ready for it… I try to avoid high-impact exercises since [moguls, in particular] put a lot of strain on my back in-season. Last time we were at the gym we did some circuit training hopping down the stairs to sort of simulate a mogul course, though.
S: What are your plans for the upcoming season?
JK: We were supposed to be going to Zermatt, Switzerland for October, but that got cancelled a couple weeks ago… We have a few more weeks of water ramp training, but nothing planned right now for October, which is crazy compared to normal seasons. We might be headed to Austria at the end of October/beginning of November now. We can quarantine as a team in Kaprun, while still being able to train there, and then we’ll head to Sweden for the beginning of the World Cup season.
S: We know you’ll be back in North America for a couple stops on the tour (as of right now), after the first couple stops in Sweden and Finland. Does that mean you’ll just be here for the remainder of the season?
JK: We’ll come back for Christmas, and then the North American events go through the beginning of February, and then we’re supposed to head to Japan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and then the World Championships in China. But Russia was just cancelled, and I’m sure the plans will change [including China].
S: Besides your assigned workouts, what other hobbies, etc. do you like to do in your free time?
JK: I really like mountain biking and just chilling out by the lake. Mountain biking is really great cross-training for skiing, especially on the downhill. You’re kind of forced to find your line while going fast similarly to the way you have to when mogul skiing… I just went down to Moab to go mountain biking and had so much fun!
S: Jaelin’s easy demeanor translates to how she seamlessly navigates a mogul run, and we’re sure glad we don’t have to compete against her this season. Besides… it’s been a while since we’ve done leg day.
- Leg Swings 10 each side
- Forward Lunges w/ Windmill 10 each side
- Side Lunge 10 each side
- Single Leg Romanian Deadlift 10 each side
- Single Leg Hops 8 each side
Workout 4 Sets Total:
- Backsquat 5 reps
- Bosu Balance 8 reps each side
- Straight Leg Deadlift 5 reps each side
- Bosu Balance 8 reps each side
- Neck Circuit 20 seconds each side
- Dumb Bell Lunge 6 reps each side
- TRX® Row 6 reps each side
- Core (Your Choice!) 1min