Ski season will be here before we know it, and with the weather starting to drop, now is the time to kick your conditioning back into gear. With the snow season cut short this past year, skiers and snowboarders are more excited than ever to hit the slopes, but don’t forget to start to loosen up your bodies so when the day comes; you aren’t as sore. These five simple and easy to do exercises will help get your legs back in shape and ready to hit the ground running. Below you will find an equipment-free and straightforward routine that is flexible enough to do at the gym or in your own home.
Start at your comfort level, and do this routine three times a week. Move up your level every two weeks.
Beginner: Repeat 2 sets of each for ten reps. Plank for 30 seconds
Intermediate: Repeat 3 sets of each for 12 reps. Plank for 45 seconds
Advanced: Repeat 3 sets of each for 15 reps. Plan for 60 seconds
Expert: Repeat 3 sets of each for 12 reps. Plank for 75 seconds. Modify squats to squat jumps.
Planks are one of the simplest and most effective workouts that you can do. Even though it is one of the simplest, it by no means is easy. This exercise helps build the stability and strength of your entire body.
Place your forearms on the ground and extend both of your legs behind you. You should be resting on the balls of your feet, and your entire body should look like one straight line. Make sure to squeeze your abs, think belly button to spine to keep you locked into position, and balanced. We recommend doing this next to a mirror so that you can see your form and adjust as needed.
The squat is an exercise that engages all muscles in the lower body. Having great technique and movement in your squat is crucial, and the perfect way to focus on your lower body strength, which is essential for skiing and snowboarding.
Stand tall with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width with your feet pointed 5-10 degrees outward. Engage your core to keep your spine relaxed, make sure not to overarch your back. If you struggle, try to think about ‘bracing’ as if someone will punch you in the stomach and then continue to hold this form throughout every single rep. Bend your knees and start to lower yourself until your hip is in line with the knee’s top. This routine is not a race, so take your time and go slow to watch your form. Hold this position for a moment and then push down through your heels and press up to your standing position, remembering to keep your core tight and engaged.
Lunges are essentially a one-leg version of a squat that will help increase your endurance with all of your winter and summer mountain adventures. Since it is incredibly similar to a squat, many of the same elements will apply to this exercise.
To start, find something still to look at to center yourself; this could be a piece of art on the wall, a lamp, or a couch. Stand tall and begin to engage your core with a relaxed back. Adjust your weight to one foot and step forward with the other. Keep your front knee following the outer edge of your foot as you drop yourself with control until your knee is hovering right above the ground. Hold this position for a second and then push up off your front leg to meet your back leg. Complete one lunge on both sides to be considered one rep.
Step-ups are a great lower body workout and add a little bit of cardio into the mix. For this position, find an object for you to step on, such as a chair, stool, or elevated item.
Plant one foot up on the chair and the other on the floor, making sure that they are hip-width apart. Push through the heel of the foot on the elevated item to stand up, keeping your other foot extended beneath your hips. You should feel the weight through your quads and glutes. Hold at the told for a few seconds and slowly lower your foot down to the ground with control.
Glute Bridges might be a new move for many of you and uncomfortable if you don’t have a yoga background. This exercise will activate and strengthen your knees, lower back, and glutes.
Lie down with your back flat against the ground, and your knees bent and hips length apart. Engage your core to stabilize yourself and press your knees out so that they don’t collapse in towards each other. Your heels should be under your knees and squeeze your glutes as you lift your hips up. There should be a straight line from your shoulders to your hips. Make sure not to arch your back and think of tucking your lower back under. Hold at the top of a moment and slowly lower yourself back down to the ground.
We hope you enjoyed this routine and that it will help get you ready for the season. In the comments, let us know what your favorite pre-season exercises are.
*Note – Please consult with a doctor to make sure that your body is capable of performing this type of exercise.