It’s snowing, it’s cold, and you are all geared up to ride! Got you pass, your newest gear is on the way, and your fingers are crossed for a big snow. Let’s make sure you are well prepared to get on the hill so you can perform well and have happy, healthy joints. We're going to talk about 5 simple exercises that you can do with limited or no equipment leading up to the ski season. These fundamental movements will get you ready to rip!
Many of us may think of skiing as only requiring lower body strength. Having upper body strength is important for us to maintain proper form as well. Especially when things get hairy or if you are really putting the screws to it and riding hard. Full range of motion with your elbows extended at the bottom and chin over the bar at the top will get you the most out of the movement. You can make these easier or more reasonable by using a band, or doing a jumping variation while you’re building strength. Hands facing away will be more difficult whereas a chin-up (hands facing you) may feel easier. Both have value.
This is a cool way to change up the traditional lunge and it provides us with the opportunity to increase the range of motion if desired. Single leg work is great for skiing and boarding and can help with knee stability and work our glutes and hammies a bit more. If you want to spice things up try standing on plate or block that is about 2” high. This will increase the range of motion at your hip and require more mobility and strength through a larger range of motion.
If you have a bar to hang on you can get these done. Lots of variations that allow you to work your abs, hip flexors, and even lats. The easiest would be a knee raise. Try to get your knees above your hips at the top of the movement. To progressively make the movement more difficult you can try extending your legs. Starting with a slightly bent knee, then going to a straight leg, etc. The more you extend your legs the longer the lever arm and the more difficult the movement gets. Eventually, see if you can get those toes to touch the bar. This movement is great for building additional core strength that you can apply to any activity.
This movement is outside the box for what we would traditionally think of but it can add in a great element of conditioning and you can do it nearly anywhere. Jumping rope is a killer way to get in some cardio while working on coordination, accuracy, and even some agility. You can do variations of jumping like singles, double unders, alternating feet, single-leg jumps, etc. Get creative and have fun with it. Even a short stent around 5 minutes can be tough for people to maintain without stopping. You can couple this with any of the movements listed above to make a great workout.
Application of Movements:
If you don’t have any weights you can do these movements unloaded at higher repetition. Sets of 10-20 depending on the movement and difficulty. 3-5 sets with roughly :90 seconds between will give you time to rest but create a cardio element as well. If you have a set of dumbbells or other weights you can add them into the mix. Depending on the weight, reps could be as low as 5 and as high as 20. You can even try doing a certain amount of reps within a specified time, i.e. 1 min. To keep it fresh and add additional challenges try doing some movements back to back and making a small 3 or 5 round workout with them. Here's an example below:
10 Reverse Lunge/leg
15 Push Up
1 min Jump Rope
Regardless of the approach, challenge yourself with whichever variation and loading you choose. Focus on quality of movement over quantity to start and build up your strength and conditioning for the slopes this winter!!
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