Winter is here! You know what they say, if it’s raining in Vancouver, it’s snowing on the mountains. For you snow fanatics, it’s time to hit the slopes and get onto some fresh powder. Don’t forget your conditioning and endurance exercises, though. Why miss out on that last run because you’re too popped to pop? Also, stats show that injuries often occur on “the last run” when skiers are most fatigued, so don’t skip your gym workouts.
Try some these exercises to get yourself ready for the snowboarding and skiing season.
Muscles worked: Quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calf complex, core muscles, adductors
- Starting from a standing (neutral) position, take a long step to your right side and “sit” down into a lunge position, keeping most weight on your right foot.
- Ensure your entire foot is in full contact with the floor, toes will be slightly pointed out at a 45 degree(ish) angle. You should not feel any twisting stresses on your knee.
- Push off of your right foot and return to the starting position
- Switch to the other leg
- Modifications: If this exercise is too easy – hold a weight while performing the lunge
Muscles worked: Glute medius, core
- Balance is key in skiing – it’s important to keep the hips level to maintain your centre of gravity! This exercise will help you work your balance as you move from side to side.
- Carefully step onto the BOSU (platform side up) and ensure you and your feet are centred before starting.
- Lower into a deep squat position and with control, rock the BOSU from side to side, while maintaining good upper body positioning in the squat (don’t allow your upper back to curve, or look at the floor)
- You should have enough control that you could stop it in any position at any time
- Try to keep your arms steady for balance and minimize flailing 🙂
- Modifications: To decrease difficulty use a bar or a post for support, or deflate the BOSU.
Muscles worked: Quadriceps, hamstrings, glute maximus, glute medius
- Another balance exercise – this time, we’ll be working on our balance as we move up and down
- While balancing on a BOSU, squat down as far as you safely can go – if using a wobble board, try not to let the sides of the board touch the ground.
- If you don’t have a BOSU, a wobble/rocker board works as well, or even barefoot on a puffy cushion!
- Safety tip: ensure that you are comfortable getting on a BOSU with the platform side up, clear the floor of equipment or use a spotter
- Modifications: Deflate the BOSU if you need some extra stability. If you’re in need of a challenge, hold a dowel overhead while performing the movement!
Muscles work: rectus abdominus, internal obliques, external obliques, transverse abdominus
- Our core muscles and our obliques are important to maintain balance so we can keep the upper body stable so you can push off with your poles!
- Bring one elbow to the opposite knee, and then switch to the other side
- Contraindications: If you have lower back problems, this exercise probably isn’t for you – depending on the nature and extent of any back injury, you could try a supine heel touch or isometric oblique exercise instead!
What is your favourite ski conditioning exercise? Let us know in the comments below!
Written by James Hsin – Client Care Manager
James is currently going into his 4th year at kinesiology at UBC, and grew up a relatively active individual. He has been training primarily in Muay Thai for the past 4 years, training with champions and beginners alike. James is a firm believer that exercise should be like playing around – it’s better if its fun! James hopes he can share how his fitness journey has encouraged him to grow, and hopes to inspire you to do the same.