Be Ready for Ski Season with these 7 Moves
Get your legs back in skiing shape from the comfort of your living room with these seven easy moves.
Winter is just around the corner, and if you want to get in ski-season shape by the time snow begins to fall, you need to start training now. These do-at-home exercises will help you avoid a case of noodle legs on your first run this winter.
1. Leg Blasters
This four-part set combines lunges and squats to gain more power and control while skiing downhill. The moves are intended to lengthen and strengthen your muscles through negative contractions. Perform a full set—squats, alternating lunges, jump lunges, and jump squats—then rest for 15 seconds. Repeat six times.
Squats: Standing with your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart, lower into a seated position until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Keep your heels grounded and your knees behind your toes. Maintain a strong core and hold your arms by your hips for alignment. Repeat 10 to 20 times.
Alternating Lunges: Set your feet shoulder-width apart and step forward with your left foot into a lunge. Keep your left leg bent at 90 degrees, and your right knee almost touching the ground behind you. Pushing off your front heel, return to the starting position with your feet apart. Repeat on the right leg. Do 10 to 20 reps for each leg.
Jump Lunges: Perform a lunge with your left leg forward. Then jump up and switch legs in the air, landing with your right foot in front of you and your left foot back. Repeat 10 to 20 reps for each leg.
Jump Squats: Squat and then shift weight from your heels to the balls of your feet to explode upward before landing softly on the ground. Do five to ten reps.
2. Russian Twists
This core-specific exercise is great for building those oblique muscles that you’ll need every time you go through turns on the mountain.
Sit on the ground and lean up slightly with your knees and hips bent at a 90-degree angle. Grab a dumbbell or weight plate and hold it with bent arms away from your chest. With your feet off the floor, engage your core and rotate your upper body as far as you can to the right, touching the weight to the ground. Return to the center and then twist to the other side. One repetition is a twist to each side. Do three rounds of 10 to 20 reps.
3. Lateral Hops with Tuck Hold
This exercise, which combines isometric and dynamic movements, is designed to improve stamina on the hill. While performing a lateral hop, keep in mind that the goal is not to jump as high as you can, but instead to improve strength and quickness.
Keep a wide stance and jump laterally back and forth over a sandbag or foam roller. Concentrate on jumping softly and quickly. Continue for 30 seconds, then sink down into a squat position and hold for another 30 seconds, keeping a flat back and open chest. Rest for 15 seconds. Repeat four to eight times or as many as you can do with good form.
4. Front Squats
This low-rep, high-weight move is meant to improve your core and lower body strength.
Standing with a barbell or kettlebell held up near your jaw, lower your butt to the ground. Take a deep breath as you squat down and exhale as you stand back up. Keep your core engaged and your back straight as you slowly return to a starting position. Do six rounds of four to six reps.
5. Low Back Complex
This three-part circuit is intended to combat lower back pain by strengthening muscles through isometric positions.
First, stand with your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart and keep your spine arched and contract your lower back muscles. Starting with your arms at your side, raise them upward and over your head. Hold that position for 20 seconds. Next, perform a lunge with your left leg forward. Hold the lunge position and raise your arms upward and keep them elevated for 20 seconds. Third, kneel on the ground with your legs about six inches apart. Keep an arched lower back and open chest while raising your arms upward and hold that fully extended position for 20 seconds. Repeat the series three to four times.
6. Single-Leg Deadlifts
This body-stabilizing exercise works your glutes, hamstring, and core, and enhances balance while also building ankle stability.
Standing upright, extend your hands and slowly lean forward, leading with your chest. Slowly lift one leg out behind you, and keep your base leg slightly bent to maintain balance. While slowly leaning over, keep your back leg straight and in-line with your torso. Remember to take a deep breath in as you go forward and exhale as you return to a standing position. Do six reps. Then repeat on the opposite leg.
7. Jane Fonda
This four-part exercise activates your gluteus maximus, minimus, and medius to improve your balance. Perform the series for two rounds of 30 seconds each on the ground. Then switch sides to work the other leg.
First, lie down on your right side with your right arm tucked beneath your head. Raise your left leg and lower it on the floor behind your right leg. Next, bring your left knee to your chest, while focusing on contracting your core. Then, starting from a straight-legged position, kick your left leg behind you to your rear. Finally, make clockwise circles with your left leg. After 15 seconds, switch to a counter-clockwise direction. Switch sides and repeat the circuit.
With these 7 moves in your daily routine, you’ll be standing strong and avoiding noodle legs on the slopes this winter.
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