Thinking of hitting the slopes this season? You still have time to prepare.
Whole-body strength and stability are important for physical preparation in both skiing and snowboarding. Strong legs and core are essential, in addition to hamstring strength to prevent knee injuries, which are common in skiers and snowboarders.
These exercises target the lower body and core with upper body pulling and pushing movements. Stability at the knee also requires stability at the ankle, hip and pelvis, so remember to activate the gluteals (butt muscles) and keep the abs engaged during all exercises. Begin with a 10 minute warm-up either on the treadmill, bike or rowing machine.
This exercise will work on upper body and shoulder stability, abdominal and quadriceps strength. Walk out on the ball until your ankles are resting on the top of the swiss ball, engage the core and form a solid ‘plank’ with the body. Lift the hips up to form a V shape with your body and engage the abdominals, keep the knees straight and push the toes into the ball. Slowly go back to the plank position with the feet on the ball. Repeat.
Assume a mini-squat position with the cable at shoulder height, pulling arm is outstretched. Pull elbow back and squeeze the shoulder blade toward the spine on that side. Keep the lower back still and engage the abdominals.
Stand with your feet hip width apart, hands just wider than the knees grasping the barbell and keep the spine straight in this bent forward start position. Engage the abdominals and gluteals to stand upright, on return to the start position hinge from the hips and keep the spine straight. Due to this being a more complex exercise, please see a trainer or ask at your local gym for assistance when doing this for the first time.
Find your balance standing on the Bosu and assume a mini-squat position, keep the trunk upright and extend the weight and arms out in front of you. Keep the hips facing straight ahead as you rotate your upper body to the left aiming to move approximately 90°. Only go as far as you feel comfortable and have control of your lower back.
TRX single leg push up 3x 8–12 reps
Adjust the straps to a long position so the foot straps are about 3 inches off the ground. Grasping the handles assume the position as shown with the elbows straightened, lift one leg off the ground, keep the hips neutral and avoid twisting the trunk. Lowering into the straps bending the elbows then perform a chest press by straightening the elbows and moving back to the starting position.
Sitting plyometric jump 3x 8–12 reps
Start by sitting on a box which allows your hips to be level with your knees or slightly higher. Choose boxes that are lower initially until you get the technique right. Lean forward on the box with your arms behind you to use as momentum to help you jump up onto the box in front. Land gently and with control.
A specialist in exercise rehabilitation and chronic disease management, Kristina Jessup, Sport and Rehab Consultant at UniRec, uses “exercise as medicine”. Trained to provide carefully tailored exercise programs for people from all walks of life and particularly those who may have struggled with exercise in the past; have particular limitations which prevent them from exercising, or those that simply don’t know where to start, Kristina has a wealth of experience spanning eight years and provides expert advice in chronic disease management and musculoskeletal rehabilitation.