Hitting the slopes this holiday season? Cool. Make sure you are ready for it with six of the best ski exercises you can do at home, so you’ll spend more time skiing and less time on your bottom. We recommend a mix of squats, lunges, planks, lateral jumps, tree poses and wall squats. Check it out!
Your thighs will probably undergo the most punishment when skiing. To prevent any unnecessary aches and strains, significantly strengthen your leg muscles with basic squat exercises.
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your knees as though you’re about to sit back in a chair.
- Keep your heels on the ground as you slowly lower yourself down, keeping your back and your hips straight.
- From the squatted position, push up off your heels and slowly rise up.
Lunges can strengthen your legs and improve your balance at the same time, making them an ideal exercise for skiers.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Step one leg forward and lower your hips so both legs form a 90-degree right angle.
- Keep your upper body straight, and make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle.
- Keep the weight in your heels and push back up to the starting position.
A strong core can help you change direction, deal with more challenging terrain and maintain proper form when skiing. It’s important, then, that you don’t skimp on building your core strength before you take to the track.
- Lie on your front with your arms bent and elbows resting on the floor.
- Lift your hips so your body weight is supported only by your forearms and toes.
- Keep your core tight, hips lifted, and your neck in line with your spine.
- Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, and breathe throughout.
If you’re a more established skier, you may want to try to a few jumps if you’re feeling brave enough. To make sure you get enough air time and ultimately stick the landing, strengthen your core and legs with some lateral jumps.
- Stand to the side of a shin-high barrier or obstacle.
- With your feet close together, jump over the barrier and then immediately jump back.
- Try to make your jumps quick while landing softly.
- Do two sets of 10 to 20 jumps.
Sick of ending up face first in the snow? You can improve your balance by working on your glutes and hamstrings with the tree pose.
- Stand on one leg.
- Raise your other leg, and place the sole of your foot into your calf or thigh, depending on your flexibility.
- Steady yourself, brace your core and slowly raise your arms above your head.
- Hold this pose for 30 to 60 seconds.
How many squats are too many? When it comes to skiing, the answer is never enough. Wall squats can help you build muscle endurance, helping you push past the plateau when you’re approaching the final few days of your holiday. Your thighs will thank you.
- Stand with your back resting against a wall.
- Lower yourself into a squat position, keeping your back pressed against the wall.
- Hold the position for as long as possible.
- Try to repeat four times, or until your muscles reach exhaustion.
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