Winter is around the corner and for those who want to get in shape before the ski-season, it is time to start training for the sport right now. But skiing is not an easy sport, it demands a lot of muscle power and training to be able to perform the sport actively. Training both the upper body and the lower body by training at the gym before the ski season is mandatory. And, this alone will transform the person into a better athlete on the mountain.
Some important fitness tips to prepare oneself for the ski season
It is important to focus on one’s strength training as well as one’s cardio exercises and flexibility. It is important to integrate one’s specific weight lifting workouts for skiing into the routine a month or so before one hits the slopes. While one gets down the mountain, it is important to train one’s hamstrings, squads and core work overtime so as to stabilize and protect the joints while turning and coming downhills. It is also important to build strength in the legs by performing a series of wall sits, intense squats and lunges. It is also important to work out the core, as it is the central powerhouse of the body and it also helps in protecting the back.
Stretching exercises before the ski season
Apart from conditioning the body with the help of fitness exercises, it is also important to loosen up the lower back and the hamstring muscles. Also, one of the most common ways to avoid ski injuries is to stretch and stretch a lot. After getting on to the hill and performing a short warm-up, it is mandatory to perform dynamic stretches such as arm swings, leg swings and torso twists. After finishing for the day and getting ready to head on, focus on the static stretches as well.
Staying safe on the hills and preventing ski injuries
For the skier to stay safe on the mountain, it is important to be alert for alert skiers, during the high season and on busy runs. A wrong foot plant or a crash might result in an MCL tear or head injury. Also, the damage is more for women as they have weak hamstrings, thus it is important for them to focus on those muscles and perform a lot of small balancing exercises. Also, wearing adequate head protection on the hills is also very much essential as it can save the skier from a very serious head injury.
Getting ready for the ski season
Initially, the first few days of the ski season are filled with thrills and excitement as you hit the slopes. But the day after is plagued with sore muscles. This is because those muscles have stayed dormant all through the summer and suffer intense pain when the winter starts with some fresh powder. Thus it is absolutely mandatory to put the body in shape before wearing on the boots. There is no need to wait until the very last moment, otherwise you will be sore before hitting the slopes. The following eight exercises can help in trimming the body and preparing for ski season even before winter could begin.
- Chair pose
- Lateral side jumps
Cycling, jogging and jumping rope are the basic aerobic exercises that can either be done in the gym or even in outside open space. These exercises help in preparing the cardiovascular system, which needs to be prepared for endurance. Without performing aerobics exercises it is possible to feel exhausted. Also, majority of the injuries happen when one is tired and prevents an early end to the sport and the season.
In the lunges workout the skier has to walk forward with one foot as far as they can and keep the toes of the other foot attached with the ground. This helps in improving the strength and balance and also offers some injury preventing stretches to the legs.
Skiers may indulge in a number of elaborate forms of ab workout as they want, but it is important to at least hit the elbows to the knees basics. These muscles are very important to lean for steering in the powder.
Planks are for training the abdominal muscles. Get into the push up position and rest the elbows while clasping the hands in front of the face. The aim is to hold the body as straight and flat as a plank and to remain in the position for some time. This helps to offer an all-around core and back exercises to offset the muscles from getting built from the sit-ups.
Place a bar on your shoulders, keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Go as low as you can while keeping your eyes focused on the wall in front of you. The exercise can be burning but the thighs will feel that much better. While the skiers feel carving some beautiful turns on a snowy day.
To perform this exercise, start from a standing position, drop to the ground for a push up. Use an upward momentum to get on to the feet and end with a jump with the hands-on the air.
There are a number of yoga poses that helps in preparing for the powder and before getting on the lifts. But the chair pose is the most perfect one. The user is made to stand on their foot almost together, knees at a 90-degree angle. Extend the hands in front of the face. The body gets toned perfectly with this exercise.
Lateral side jumps:
Draw a line on the floor and hold your body straight then jump sideways over it and then return to the first side. Repeat the entire process. This exercise closely mimics skiing movements so it will prepare both the body and mind for the hills
Preparing for the lower portion of the body for Ski season:
- Quadriceps muscle training
Quadriceps muscle training:
The most important muscle that makes a person a strong skier and the snowboarder is the quadriceps. These are the muscles at the front of the leg above the knee. They come into play when one holds a sitting chair posture. Simply hold in the pose to start working for the quads. Lunges and jump squats are also perfect to train the muscle without adding weight. Hit the gym to add more weight for leg extensions and squats.
Another important muscles to train is the calves and the ankle joints. Having a flexible ankle and strong calves that are not prone to cramping are ideal for snow skiing. The best way to train the muscle is to find a staircase. stand at the edge of the stair and hold a railing. Raise the body up and down to stretch the calves.
The hamstrings are a group of muscles at the back of the thigh. These are important muscles that are prone to tearing and they are also difficult to isolate. Stretching is the best exercise to train the hamstring muscles. Spread the legs and bend down, walk the hands from one hand to another. Burpees are also great for overall body workout.
Having strong abdominal muscles will always make one a strong athlete in any sport they undertake. Planks are the best exercise to cultivate a strong abs. Move from one hand to another, twist the body and reach towards the ceiling to work out the side abs.
Skiing and snowboarding are hard sports but they come in spurts. It is important to have additional lung strength at higher elevations. Running expands lung capacity and also increases the heart rate. Maintaining a good running routine helps one in performing absolutely well in the mountain