It’s almost time to hit the slopes! Yet, if you haven’t skied or snowboarded since last season (or even for a few years), it’s crucial to spend time getting your body ski-ready in the weeks beforehand. That way, you can spend more time enjoying your ski trip—and less time tending to bothersome aches and pains.
So, where should you start? In this article, we outline five exercises and a few tips to help you prepare for this invigorating and healthy winter activity.
4 Exercises to Get Ski-Ready
Imagine that fresh air on your face, the rush you feel as the snowy slopes fly by, and the undeniable thrill that comes with each and every ride. Exciting, isn’t it?
Surprisingly, despite the downward incline, skiing is a very demanding form of exercise. Skiing and snowboarding offer a wonderful cardiovascular workout and strengthen your glutes, hamstrings, calves, quadriceps, and core. Thus, like any other athletic activity, training your body is key to enjoying every moment on the hill.
Luckily, if your ski trip is a few weeks away, you have time. Within the next few weeks, aim to do the following ski exercises two to three times each week. This will help your body avoid the shock on that first day—and ensure you have the stamina to keep up with your friends, kids, or family.
If you already do these, you’re in good shape! Squats work your hamstrings, leg adductors, leg abductors, quadriceps, and core. They also may help you keep your knees tracking correctly as you ski. Like skiing, your knees should never track over your big toe and past your feet when squatting.
Here’s how to do the perfect squat.
- Stand tall with your feet about hip-width apart.
- Bend your knees, bringing your buttocks back as if you were going to sit in a chair.
- When your thighs are almost parallel to the ground, pause, then push back up. This is where you want to ensure your knees aren’t going past your toes!
- Stand back up and repeat for 10-15 reps and 2-3 sets. Throughout this exercise, make sure you contract your core (tighten through your middle), so you don’t put unnecessary stress or pressure on your low back.
Skiing demands a lot from your core. As you carve down the slopes, a strong core keeps your body upright and reduces your risk of falls. A strong core is further very important if you decide to try out more technical terrain.
Here’s how to do a proper plank:
- Start on all fours, then send your feet all the way back so your body forms a straight line from your head to your heels.
- Tighten through your core, and ensure your hips aren’t sagging (Asking a friend or using a mirror can really help here!).
- Hold for at least 15 seconds, with the ultimate goal being to hold your plank for one minute.
- Do at least three repetitions, aiming for as close to that one-minute mark as possible.
This one is for your glutes. And luckily, it requires zero equipment (no excuses!). Here’s how to do it:
- Lie on your side.
- Bend your knees and hips slightly, keeping your feet together.
- Slowly lift your top knee.
- Then, slowly lower it.
- Perform 10-12 repetitions for 2-3 sets, and don’t forget to repeat this move on the opposite side.
4. Rotating Lunge
This exercise targets the major muscles in your legs and your core, providing your balance and coordination skills with a bit of a challenge. Here’s how to do it:
- Lunge forward, bending your front knee over your front ankle and dropping your back knee below your hip.
- Turn your torso toward the side of your front leg.
- Turn back to the center, and step back.
- Step your opposite leg forward and repeat.
- Do at least 10 repetitions per side and 2-3 sets.
Hit the Slopes With Confidence This Year!
Do the work before you get out there so you won’t regret it afterward. And remember, listen to your body. If you start to feel fatigued or like something doesn’t feel quite right, take a break. There’s no shame in heading into the lodge for a nice warm cup of hot chocolate or coffee. In fact, it’s encouraged!
Not sure what the best way is for you to get in shape before that big ski trip? Our team at Bradford House Chiropractic Clinic is ready to help. Book your appointment today.