Skiing uses different muscles than most everyday activities. In addition, it isn’t something that you do during the off season, so those muscles can quickly become out of shape. To be able to get out on the slopes and have a great time without feeling sore, you will want to do exercises that keep your skiing muscles toned and ready. The good news is that you can do most of these exercises with a few minutes a day and minimal equipment. These exercises work your legs and core, essential muscles for maintaining control on the slopes.
These easy to do exercises are recommended by skier and trainer Crystal Wright for Outside Online. They are reps of several different leg exercises. Start with holding squats for 20 seconds, then holding lunges for 20 seconds. After that, perform jumping lunges switching back and forth between the legs, then end with jumping squats. Do 10-20 reps of each exercise, work through the rotation, rest for 15 seconds and then repeat the entire set. Work up to repeating the whole set six times. These exercises will keep your legs from feeling weak and shaky the first day out on the slopes.
Mountain Athlete, in a video for backcountry.com suggests the Russian Twist to strengthen core muscles. For this exercise you can sit on the floor with your knees bent. Elevate your feet slightly. Then, holding a 15 pound hand weight or kettlebell in front of you, rotate your body and touch the weight to the floor, come back to center, then rotate it the other way. Repeat this doing 10-20 reps per set. This will help your body stay ready for the tight muscle control that is required for turns.
This is the perfect exercise to lay back, relax, and build your core and leg strength. Pro skier, Paula Moltzen, demonstrates this exercise for Shape Magazine. Lay on your back with your arms straight out on either side. Lift your legs directly into the air. Keeping your legs together, slowly rotate them towards the floor on the right, bring them back to the middle and then lower them to the left. Repeat this motion for several reps. You will feel your core being stretched and strengthened.
Any exercise that works your core can help you feel confident while skiing. You don’t have to spend hours at the gym or buy fancy equipment to be ready for ski season. Hand weights or kettlebells and a few minutes of time to do a few reps are all you need to stay in shape. When you head back out onto the slopes for the first time of the season, you may also want to schedule a mountain recovery massage to keep your muscles loose, improve recovery time, and help prevent injury. Don’t fall behind during the off season and be ready to get back on your skis with these simple exercises.
Photo Courtesy of the Breckenridge Tourism Office
Photo by Maria Fernanda Gonzalez on Unsplash