How to stay in shape for next ski season
With the early end to this year’s ski season, now isn’t the time to be lazy. Staying in shape will help you avoid noodle legs once you’re able to get back on the mountain next season. Here are some moves you can do right at home to help maintain ski-season shape.
Your quads are the first thing to burn out when you go skiing, so you’ll want to maintain your leg strength in the meantime.
New to squats? Here’s how to do a basic air squat:
- Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart.
- Push your hips back and bend your knees like you are sitting into a chair.
- Keep going until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Keep your heels down and your knees behind your toes.
- Stand up and repeat.
Level up your squats by adding weights in each hand, or by doing squat jumps. Instead of just standing back up like an air squat, jump straight up, and then go back down into a squat.
You can also try sumo squats. They are similar to air squats, but your feet are spread wider apart and your toes turned out. You can also hold a dumbbell in your hands to make this more difficult.
Aim for 3-4 sets of 20 squats.
Lunges are great for strong legs/glutes and better balance – something skiers in particular should focus on. Here’s how to do a basic walking lunge:
- Stand up straight with your feet together.
- Step one leg forward and bend down so that your front leg is at a 90º angle with the floor.
- Make sure to keep your upper body straight with your shoulders back.
- Stand back up and lunge with the other leg.
You can add weight in each hand while doing your lunges for more benefit. You can also vary the workout by doing reverse lunges or try balance side lunges. Still want more? Try jumping lunges to add some balance practice and cardio to your routine.
Aim for 4-5 sets of 10 lunges on each leg.
Planking is a great way to work on your core strength. You use your core muscles of your abs and lower back a lot while skiing, especially on more difficult terrain.
Here’s how to do a basic plank:
- Start by laying on the floor on your stomach.
- Push up on your elbows and toes, with your body in a flat line.
- Do not let your hips dip or your shoulders scrunch.
- Hold the position.
Try to hold your plank for at least 45 seconds at a time, with a minute rest in between.
Cardio will help you keep your endurance up for a whole day back on the mountain without getting too exhausted.
Get started with burpees:
- Start by putting your hands on the ground about shoulder-width apart.
- Jump your feet back to a pushup position.
- Lower your body down.
- Push your body up and jump your feet to your hands.
- Jump vertically with your hands above your head.
Skater hops are great for both cardio and balance:
- Starting on one side of your body, squat down slightly
- Jump to your opposite side, landing on your other foot.
- Use that foot to jump back to the starting position and land on the other foot.
- Try and jump as far and as fast as possible.
For an extra cardio kick, try plyo ski hops. They are similar to skater hops in that it’s a lateral, weight-shifting move – similar to skiing!
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