To get you fired up for skiing, I'm going to be turning my focus to fitness this winter. Every three weeks I'll deliver you #FitnessFriday inspiration with ski/snowboard specific exercises and on my personal Instagram feed I'll keep the #FitnessFriday theme rolling weekly—demonstrating new workouts driven to unleash the inner skier and snowboarder within us all.
My first Fitness Friday workout is an introduction to the BOSU balance trainer.
I know many of you have seen a BOSU ball, but haven't quite figured out what to do with this dome-shaped piece of equipment. BOSU's are great for improving stability and strengthening; the power combination required for performing well on the slopes! There are literally dozens of ways to workout with a BOSU, but I picked out a few basic moves to show for your pre-season homework. Don't be afraid to get creative and safely mix up your workout with more dynamic movements. After you feel stable and able, add weights and start conditioning those muscles for long days of skiing and snowboarding! Also, here's some great stuff provided by ski doctors from the University of Utah Health Care on 10 Tips For Ski Season.
1. Wide legged BOSU Squat
Start: Stand on one side of the BOSU with one foot centered on top, putting your weight into your heels.
Sit low into your heels, keeping your head up, shoulders back, and back flat. Pulse up and down slowly, or complete full sumo squats.
Reps: 3 sets of 15 on each side of BOSU.
Muscle Groups: Quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, calves, and inner thigh adductors.
Challenge Move: Use 5-15 lb. weights and hold them at your hips, or do bicep curls in conjunction with the squat.
2. BOSU Reverse Lunge
Start: Stand on top of the BOSU, with both feet equally centered.
Slowly step back and drop into a lunge until your front knee is at a 90-degree angle and back knee almost to the floor. Do not let your front knee go forward past your toes. Stabilize, then step back up on BOSU.
Reps: 3 sets of 15 with each leg.
Muscle Groups: Quadriceps, along with glutes and inner thigh adductors.
Challenge Move: Stand on BOSU with one leg, slowly step back into lunge with non-working leg, then step back up with working leg and balance at the top for 5 seconds before stepping back into lunge again.
3. BOSU Skiing (Squat weight shift)
Squat on the BOSU with your butt down, back flat and hold. Slowly start to shift your weight from right to left. Focus on balance and control in this position while your dreaming of skiing down your favorite run!
Reps: 30, shifting right and left.
Muscle Groups: Quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, calves.
Challenge Move: Flip the BOSU with dome side down. Squat and balance on BOSU while slowly shifting weight right and left for 3-5 minutes while holding 8-15 lb. weights.
4. BOSU Plank work
Flip the BOSU upside down and get into plank position. Wrists directly under shoulders. Get your body in one line from head to toes with a neutral spine. Hold a plank then alternate bringing your knees up for mountain climbers, then switch to leg jacks while holding your arms stationary.
Reps: Hold plank for 30 seconds, then complete 20 mountain climbers, and 10 leg jacks for 5 sets.
Muscle Groups: Abdominals, back, and shoulders.
Challenge Move: From plank, jump legs forward to wide legged squat around BOSU. With strong legs, lift BOSU and push up for overhead press, then lower back down and jump pack into plank and repeat for 15 BOSU burpees.
5. BOSU Push Up
From plank, lower your chest down, keeping your elbows tucked near your sides and body in one line. Push back up to straight arms and repeat.
Reps: 3 sets of 10.
Muscle Groups: Pectorals, deltoids, upper arm, and upper back.
Challenge Move: Keeping a neutral spine, lift one leg and pulse one heel to the ceiling while holding upper body at bottom of push up. Complete 10 repetitions with each leg for 2 sets, with 5 push ups in between each set.
As I say with every exercise, listen to your body! Allow yourself to modify the exercise by placing a sturdy chair next to the BOSU, and hold on for balance during the standing exercises if you need to. You can also take breaks as needed, or come down to your knees for modified push ups. Let your focus be on form first. As you improve, you can add weights or increase repetitions. Turn on some great tunes, start moving, and get strong so you can ski long!
~XOXO, Bring on the SNOW!