Top 4 Exercises to Get Ski-Ready: Hit the Slopes with Confidence!
Check out the video with all the exercises HERE!
As the season turns and the first snowflakes begin to garnish the peaks of your favourite ski resorts, it’s time to prep not just your gear, but your most important equipment – your body. Skiing is an exhilarating sport that demands strength, endurance, and agility. To ensure you carve the slopes with ease and reduce the risk of injury, I’m here to guide you through the top 4 exercises that are essential for your ski holiday preparation. Let’s get you slope-ready!
Why Strengthen Your Body and Legs for Skiing?
Before we jump into the exercises, let’s chat about the ‘why’. Skiing may look like a leisurely slide down a snowy hill, but it’s a full-body workout requiring significant muscle power and control. Your legs are the pillars of this snowy adventure, absorbing impacts, manoeuvring turns, and keeping you balanced. Strengthening your lower body, core, and surrounding musculature is crucial to:
1. Enhance performance and control on the skis
2. Minimise the risk of common skiing injuries
3. Increase endurance for longer, more enjoyable ski sessions
4. Improve balance and coordination to tackle various terrains
With that in mind, let’s slide into the exercises!
1. Split Squats – The Quad Conqueror
Picture this: you’re on the slope, knees bent, and every turn sends a jolt through your thighs. That’s where split squats come in. They’re brilliant for building the quad strength you’ll need to withstand the repetitive action of skiing.
How to Perform Split Squats:
– Stand with feet hip-width apart. Take a step back with one foot and balance on the ball of that foot.
– Lower your hips until your front thigh is almost parallel to the floor. Your back knee should nearly touch the ground.
– Keep your front knee directly above your ankle, not pushed out too far.
– Push back up to the starting position.
– Perform 3 sets of 10-12 reps on each leg.
2. Plank with Knee to Opposite Elbow – The Core Connector
Skiing demands a strong connection between your upper and lower body, which is facilitated by a robust core. This plank variation not only strengthens the abdominal muscles but also simulates the rotational movement of your torso during skiing.
How to Perform the Plank with Knee to Opposite Elbow:
– Begin in a standard plank position, hands on the ground(start of press up position), body in a straight line from head to heels.
– Brace your core and bring your right knee towards your left elbow, engaging your obliques.
– Return to the plank position and repeat with the other leg.
– Aim for 3 sets of 8-10 reps on each side.
3. Lateral Lunges – The Side Slope Shaper
Skiing isn’t just a forward motion; it’s full of lateral movements as you navigate the runs. Lateral lunges mimic this action, targeting your inner and outer thighs, hips, and glutes.
How to Perform Lateral Lunges:
– Stand with your feet together and take a large step to the side with your right foot.
– Bend your right knee, sending your hips back, and keep your left leg straight.
– Push off your right foot to return to the start.
– Perform 3 sets of 10 reps on each side.
4. Glute Bridges – The Posterior Powerhouse
A strong posterior chain (including your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back) is vital for skiing. Glute bridges activate these key areas, promoting power and stability.
How to Perform Glute Bridges:
– Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
– Drive through your heels, lifting your hips towards the ceiling while squeezing your glutes.
– Hold for a moment at the top and then slowly lower your hips back to the floor.
– Do 3 sets of 12-15 reps.
Bringing It All Together
These exercises form a comprehensive pre-ski workout that should be started at least six weeks before your trip. Consistency is key. Aim to perform these exercises 3-4 times a week, increasing intensity as you progress. Remember, it’s not just about strength; you’re also training your body to work in harmony, much like it will have to do on the ski slopes.
Don’t let a lack of preparation put a damper on your holiday. By incorporating these exercises into your routine, you’ll arrive at the resort primed for action. You’ll enjoy the snow more, recover from those full days quicker, and most importantly, reduce the chance of an untimely injury. So, get to it, and you’ll be ready to tackle the pistes with gusto!
And of course, for tailored advice or if you’re recovering from an injury, it’s best to consult with a physiotherapist to ensure you’re on the right track. Happy skiing!