The skiing season is now well and truly underway, you may have planned a skiing trip with your family and/or friends. Specific strengthening exercises to prepare your body for the slopes, are important to making sure that you can handle the physical stresses that are involved with skiing and stay in control all day long.
Here are some Pilates inspired exercises that will help you to strengthen your Core, giving you the longevity to hit the slopes. They should never be painful, if they are stop them straight away and consult a health care professional.
Roll your spine off the floor until your knees, hips and shoulders make a straight line. Roll your spine down starting from the upper back until you have returned to a starting position. Repeat 10 times for 2 sets.
Starting in a table top position lift one leg and the opposite arm. Maintain your gaze at the floor directly below your head and keep the trunk as still as possible. Alternate sides and repeat 10 times for 2 sets.
Keeping your trunk totally still as you lift one knee to the ceiling and then return it to the start. Repeat this 10 times for 2 sets.
Resting on your elbows maintain a straight line between your head and feet for up to 30 seconds for 5 repetitions.
In a half sit-up position and holding a lightweight take the weight from one side to another. Repeat 10 times to each side for 2 sets.
Step 2: Improve Your Balance
Good balance is an integral part of ski sports and while having good strength and core stability can help, the only way to improve is to practice exercises that test your balance. With all these exercises, make sure you’re in a clear space where it’s safe if you happen to lose your balance.
Single Leg Stand
Stand on one leg initially with your eyes open and then as your balance improves with your eyes closed. Stay there as long as you can.
Wobble Board Standing
Stand with your feet evenly on a wobble board and attempt to keep the edge off the ground. Stay there as long as you can.
Wobble Board Single Leg Stand
Stand with one foot in the middle of the wobble board while you attempt to keep the edge of the board off the ground. Stay there as long as you can and switch legs.
Aeroplanes – Forwards & Sidewards
Start standing on one leg with arms out and the other leg straight behind. Lean forwards and then backwards. Perform 10 times for 2 sets on each side. Do the same thing in a sideways direction.
Step 3: Build Leg Strength
Staying on the slopes all day requires strength and endurance. With these exercises progress by building up your repetitions and sets to challenge your staying power.
Start standing straight with your feet slightly apart. Squat down and then return to the starting position. Try and maintain the neutral curves in your spine. Repeat 10 times for 2 sets.
Single Leg Squat
Stand on one leg to perform a single leg squat. Keep the neutral curves in your spine and also your hips and shoulders level. Make sure you can maintain the middle of your knee cap over your second toe to keep your leg in alignment. Repeat ten times for 2 sets on both legs.
Static Wall Squats
Lean against a wall in a half squat position. Aim to stay in this position for as long as possible and repeat a few times.
Start in standing and lunge forward and then push back to the start position. Keep the neutral curves in your spine, your hips / shoulders level and the middle of your front knee over your second toes. Alternate legs and repeat 10 times for 2 sets.
Start standing. Squat down and then dynamically jump up and land. On landing make sure you absorb the impact by bending your knees and hips and returning into a squat position. Repeat 10 times for 2 sets.
Start in a lunge position. Dynamically jump and switch legs to land in the opposite lunge position. Repeat 10 times for 2 sets.
Jump from side to side over a mark on the ground. As you land absorb shock by bending the knees and hips. Repeat to 10 times for 2 sets.
Start your pre-ski trip training as far away from your holiday as possible and build yourself up by starting with low repetitions and sets, increasing as the exercises get easier. Skiing is loads of fun but like these exercises, it puts a lot of strain on your body. If you have any previous or current issues or experience pain while performing these exercises, then make a booking at a location near you & consult with your Physiotherapist before you start or immediately if you get symptoms.