Getting in Shape for Ski Season
By. Steve Hartman
Fall is coming to an end and there is already snow on the ground in some spots of the country. There are even ski resorts completely open for business. Now is the time to start getting into shape and working the muscles that will help give you the strength and stamina to avoid getting fatigued while skiing at your favorite spots.
You spend a lot on lift tickets so make sure you spend the whole day out there and not be so tired to go at it the next day.
Let’s start with the stretches. We all know there are tons of advantages to being limber and loose on the mountain to avoid injuries and strains so make sure to stretch, especially at the end of the ski day.
Why the wrist? You swing the poles and being flexible on your wrists can help avoid injuries on common falls.
Forearm Wrist Combo: Hold one arm out straight and raise your palm like you're telling someone to stop. Use the other hand to pull back on the fingers for about 20 seconds. Don't pull back too hard. Then do the same thing for the opposite hand. You can then point your fingers down and pull back.
Wrist Flex: Also, try rotating your wrists clockwise for 10 rotations, then counter-clockwise.
"V" Leg Stretch:The most common and one of the best is sitting with your legs out in a V. Lean towards one leg and hold for 5 seconds, then head over to the opposite leg and then finish off by reaching down the center.
Basic Foot Stretch: Another popular and good one is, while standing, grab your right forefoot with your right hand and stretch back. Hold for about 20-30 seconds then switch to the opposite foot. Feel free to use a wall for support.
Seated Hip Stretch: For your hips, sit on the floor and bend your knees. Place your right leg on top of your left leg (like you’re stacking). Hold this for about 30 seconds and then switch legs.
Let’s move on to the working-out portion of this article.
It just doesn’t seem like you’re exercising appropriately unless you’re hitting the core. At least that’s what the experts seem to say. So, here’s how to work out the core.
Planks: Assume the push up position and hold as long as you can. Your back should be straight as if you were trying to balance a broom on it. Make sure your butt or back doesn’t sag downward or protrude upwards. Suck in that belly and count to thirty.
Superman: Another good core exercise is the superman. Lie face down on the floor with your arms and legs straight out. Lift your arms and legs off the ground and hold for about thirty seconds. This is a good lower back exercise as well.
Wall Stretch: All you need is a wall. Start with your back against the wall and slowly slide down until your thighs are in a horizontal position. Hold for about ten seconds then slide back up.
Make sure the knees don’t go past the tips of your feet and feel free to increase the time you’re in the “electric chair”.
Quads and Hamstrings Exercises:
Since you’ll be using your legs the most while skiing it’s best to make sure they are in shape and some of the best ways to build up your leg muscles is hitting the gym.
Seated Leg Extensions: Do three sets of 10-12 reps. After those, lighten the load to about 50% of what you previously had and do 1-2 more sets at 4-8 more reps per set.
Leg Presses: Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps with your feet close together, then another 3 sets at 10-12 reps with your feet shoulder width apart.
Hamstring Curl Machine: 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps. The first set you do should be set on a lighter weight.
Here are a few options for getting your heart rate up so you can go on longer without stopping to catch your breath.
Since you ski and stop, then you can train that way. Go on a 1-2 minute sprint then slow it down for a few minutes, then sprint again. Sprinting uphill is great too.
Trail Running is another good option. Since you aren’t skiing on flat ground, it’s good to train on uneven terrain, even building up strength running downhill is good.
Hope this helps give you that extra bit of strength and stamina so you can spend more time doing what you love.