Getting in Shape for Ski Season
With ski season getting underway across the country it’s time to start getting that body ready for winter. It’s never too late to get in shape for ski season and even a little prep work can make your first week on snow that much more enjoyable. Below are 4, simple, easy to do workouts that will get those legs firing on all cylinders for that first day on snow!
Backwards Treadmill Walk
Start walking very slowly on the treadmill at 2-3 miles per hour. Increase the incline as high as it goes. Very carefully, turn around so you’re facing backwards—your toes should be pointing toward the end of the belt, like you’re walking backwards uphill. As you walk, drop to a squat so that your knees are at nearly 90 degrees—similar to the tuck position of skiing. This exercise builds strength endurance in the quads and glutes and will build up your lactic acid threshold allowing you to ski longer and harder.
Grab a dumbbell (Start light and increase the weight as you start understanding the movement). Bend your knees slightly, keeping your back straight, then lean forward with the barbell, hinging at the hips. Push your hips forward and return to a standing position. This exercise builds Hamstring strength which is really important to prevent ACL injuries. By working the hamstrings, you help stabilize the knee joint thus preventing injuries.
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down so your thighs are parallel to the floor, then jump high in the air. Try to land softly on your feet. This exercise develops explosiveness in the quads and glutes, which is necessary if you want to ski fast and push hard out of your turns.
Medicine Ball Throws
This exercise requires either a partner or a solid wall to bounce the ball off of. Start in the sit up position with your partner standing on your feet. With your back on the ground as if you were about to start a sit up lunge forward throwing the medicine ball up to your partner. Stay upright and have your partner gently throw the ball back to you ideally with your arms fully extended. Control the ball coming down all the way to the start position and repeat 8-12 times per set and do 3 sets. This exercise develops a lot of important muscles, but primarily focuses on your core which will allow for more fluid movement and connecting the upper and lower body while skiing.
If you can do each of these exercises even a few times before your first day, you will see a dramatic difference in your ability to ski all day right from the start. Don’t be the person who quits after the first day. Show your friends and/or family that you’re a true seasoned veteran on the slopes!