It may be hard to believe but ski season is just around the corner. If you love to ski then you already know that skiing is as challenging as it is fun. It takes great strength and cardio fitness to be able to spend the day on the slopes. And the better shape you’re in, the safer skiing can be. Right now, before the first flakes fall, is the perfect time to get in skiing shape.
Work on the Glutes and Large Leg Muscle Groups
Skiing is in large part a lower body exercise. The stronger your legs and glutes, the longer you’ll be able to stay on the slopes. There are a few exercises you can do at home to strengthen these muscles.
Lunges – Standing with your feet under your hips, step forward with one leg. Bend the front leg until the knee of your back leg is just about touching the ground. The knee of your front leg should be over your foot but not past it. Switch legs and repeat. You can add weight to increase strength and resistance.
Squats – Standing with your feet slightly wider than hip width apart, bend at the knees. Keep your back straight and your weight in your heels. Push your rear end back like you’re sitting in a chair and lower your body until your hips are even with or slightly below your knees. Stand up while keeping your weight in your heels and repeat. You can add weight to this exercise too.
Box jumps and step up exercises are other exercises that can strengthen your leg muscles for skiing.
Your core muscles include your abdominals and your back muscles. Pilates is perhaps the single best program for strengthening your core muscles. If you haven’t tried Pilates, consider signing up for a course. You’ll be surprised how much your skiing improves when you have good core strength.
In addition to exercising in the mountains where the air is thinner and your body has to work harder to get the oxygen it needs, skiing is a cardio exercise. The stronger your heart and lungs are, the more pleasant your skiing experience. Consider adding rowing, jump roping, jogging, or cycling. In fact, a spin class is a great way to improve your cardio system.
Finally, consider adding a balance ball, wobble board, or other balance type device to your workout routine. You’ll teach your body to respond to the bumps and curves of a ski run. The better your fitness, the better your ski season and now is the time to get started.
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