Emma Green, PT
Is it snowing? 10 best exercises for skiers...
There's finally snow around and suddenly you feel the pull of the mountains. They look so majestic with their white capped peaks. But, wait...it's been a whole circuit around the sun since you last strapped those skis on. So, what exercises would help ease your body back onto the slopes? Here we reveal the best exercises to get you back on the mountain - if it's been a while!
Firstly, if you do have any niggling issues, please get them checked out by a licensed physical therapist or physician.
As long as you are fit and well, let's move onto the warm up:
It's important to stretch out the muscles or the areas that you will be using most on the slopes. Namely, calves, thighs, buttocks and back. Take a good 30 seconds to stretch each area out. You will get the best quality stretch if you are warm, so a few minutes brisk walking first, should do it.
Strengthening and endurance exercises are also important as they help you stay comfortably on the slopes for longer. Helpful exercises are;
Core exercises, such as Clinical Pilates
Single leg balance exercises.
Start with one set of 10 reps of each exercise and slowly build up your tolerance to 3 sets of 15 exercises a couple of times a day. The single leg balance exercise can be done for 10-30 seconds while you brush your teeth.
Cardio is also key, as any winter sportsperson knows! Start building your cardio endurance by walking, biking, swimming or elliptical. 7-10 minutes at a time initially, building to 60 minutes if you can, over time.
As with any exercise program, it is essential that these exercises are done correctly with good form. Please consult a licensed physical therapist to assist you with all of the above exercises. In a perfect world we would all be undertaking a pre-ski assessment followed by our own individualized program of exercises to follow for 6-12 weeks before we hit the slopes. Ask a physical therapist today how they can help you achieve the level of fitness you need to enjoy your next time on the mountain!