The question: I love skiing, but my first day of the season always leaves me sore. How can I train better in the gym before I hit the slopes?
The answer: I am glad you asked! I have a couple of great skier-appropriate exercises that I am excited to share.
For your legs, try 1-and-1/4 squats: Stand, with your feet slightly wider than hip distance apart. Bend at your ankles, knees and hips to sit your bum backward. At the bottom of the squat, raise yourself slightly, then lower yourself back down. Finish by standing up. Repeat 10 to 15 times. Do the exercise using your own body weight, holding dumbbells or with a barbell on your back.
For your core, try plank tucks: Place your hands on the floor and feet on a resistance ball. Keep your shoulders and back still as you roll the ball forward so your knees come toward your chest. Slowly return the ball to its starting position. Repeat 10 times.
For your balance, try the single-leg partner-resist exercise: Person A stands on one leg while holding one end of a band with both hands, straight out in front of their chest. Person B holds the other end of the band, making sure it’s fairly taut. Person B then walks around Person A, pulling slightly on the band. Person A has to react to and resist the pull of the band. Repeat 10 times. Switch legs then switch partners.
Single-leg exercises are especially great for skiers. By reducing body contact with the ground and challenging your balance, they prepare you for the sports’ demands on the central nervous system.
Other great exercises for skiers are dead lifts, lunges, pull-ups, push-ups and core exercises such as planks and side planks.
To prepare yourself for the intervals of skiing – getting down a hill followed by sitting on a chair lift – spend 30 minutes on any cardio machine, alternating one minute of intense work followed by two minutes of recovery.
Trainer’s Tip: If you can’t get to the gym, try Tabata squat pulses at home. Using the same squat technique as above, hold at the bottom of a squat and pulse for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds, then repeat seven more times.
Kathleen Trotter has been a personal trainer and Pilates equipment specialist for 10 years. Her website is www.kathleentrotter.com.
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