It’s fall, and the winter season is fast approaching which means ski and snowboard season is as well. The ‘off season’ between summer and winter is a great time to get ski season ready, get the body prepped for a fun and injury free season. It seems every year you get out on the hill and your legs are feeling the burn and you’re quickly reminded of why you should have done some dry land training.
Compared to many other outdoor activities downhill skiing and snowboarding consists of more rotation and angulation control, which can have more cause of injury. In order to prep for the winter season I have included my top 5 exercises to make priority before hitting the slopes this winter.
- Banded Crab-walks: Place a light to medium-strength resistance band around your ankles. Assume the athletic stance with your knees bent and chest up then side step from left to right for 25 feet. Right away reverse the movement moving right to left. Make it a goal to go for three to five minutes focusing hip stability by activating your glute-med.
- Single-leg glute bridge: Lay on your back, with your knees flexed at 90 degrees and one foot on the ground. Perform a bridge motion using one leg, keeping your core tight and hips square. The other leg can stay in the air throughout the movement. This is another glute burner — go for two sets of 25 reps on each side.
- Planks and side planks: Balancing on your forearms and toes in a push-up position, use the strength of your abdominals and glutes to keep your hips raised to shoulder height, taking extra care not to sag in the midsection. For the side plank, shift from a plank position onto one hand, with the other either extended into the air or resting on your hip and your feet stacked. Complete 3x 30- to 60-second holds each.
- Lateral Side Jumps: Draw a line on the floor. Standing with your feet together, knees bent, and torso upright (like a ski stance) start to jump sideways back and forth over the line. This closely mimics skiing movements, so it will prepare your mind as well as your body. Aim for three sets of 30-60 seconds.
- Single-leg box squats: While seated on a bench make sure your knees are bent at 90 degrees (stacked over your ankle joint) and aligned with your second toe. Stand up on one leg coming to full extension at the knee and hip joint then with a control motion sit back down. Repeat 10-15 reps per leg for three sets.
And remember to warm up before getting on the lift. A few reps of dynamic moves like toy soldiers and step-ups will get you warm and limber. After your ski or snowboard session add in some long, static stretches to get you ready for day two (or four), as will some well-deserved hot tub time.
Stay tuned for the next month’s article on pre-ski dynamic stretches and post-ski (pre-apres) static stretches.
Product Manager & Professional Training Coach
Innovative Fitness Kitsilano
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