Ski season is around the corner – in fact there’s already a dusting of snow on the local mountains, and La Niña is promising a bumper snow for Whistler! Are you ready to take on the slopes in a month or so, when the ski hills open?
Even though you may have spent the summer out there biking, hiking, and running, you need to make sure your ‘ski muscles’ are ready to go! Skiing uses skiing uses a different muscle set – and balance and core strength play a big part. Don’t forget to buy your Edge card for Whistler or the local mountains – catch the Early Bird discount if you buy before November 21st.
Here are a few simple exercises to start building that strength:
Core muscles help you to maintain balance, and work as a unit to stabilize your pelvis and spine, helping you to stay upright when flying down those slopes. A sure sign of a weak core is frequent falls, and flailing arms. Start planking – 1 minute a day is good, and don’t forget the side planks (30 seconds each side).
Start doing squats .. 30 reps a day is good … but watch your form! Watch how your knees line up when you squat – your knee cap should be directly over your second/third toe. If your knees are too far forward, try sticking your butt out. Try single-leg squats for more of a challenge.
Quads and Glutes:
Your quads (front of your thigh) and glutes (back of your thigh) are the main power muscles for skiing. For quads, try step ups on a box, or any stairs – and add weights for an extra challenge.
Glutes – the clam shell is a good one for this! Lie on your side with both legs lined up on top of each other, in a bent position. Keep your ankles together, and lift your top knee – like opening and closing a clam shell. This will actively your butt muscles. 30 reps a day is good.
If you have an exercise ball, lay on your back, resting your feet on the top of the ball. Use your legs and core to draw the ball in towards your body until your knees are bent and you are in a bridge position. Hold this for a few seconds and return to the original position. Three sets of 10 to 12 reps will give you a good work-out.
Don’t forgot to stretch and stay flexible!