Thursday, November 11, 2021

Oodles of workout tips to get your body ready for ski season!

A powder day at Brundage Mountain

Hi all, 

It's time to be thinking about getting your body tuned up for ski season! We could be xc skiing or snowshoeing by Thanksgiving, perhaps even sooner, and if Mother Nature delivers enough snow, we could be downhill skiing by then as well! 

I found three excellent posts from REI and Outside online with specific recommendations for ski-conditions exercises that I'll share below. 

You'll need to think about working on the muscles that you use most when skiing -- your quads, glutes, hamstrings, hips and lower back. Plus, I find that my arms and wrists can get sore, early in the season, from using my poles when turning ... so doing some light weights with your arms, hands and wrists will pay dividends. 

The bottom line is that if you do some advance ski conditioning, it will reduce the chance of injury. This becomes more important with age, I can vouch for that!  

Lynette Hayes, a Boise personal fitness trainer and owner of Active & Fit, says, "People always think legs, which is of course important, but don't forget the power you need that comes from your hips and core. Also work in some single leg stuff for strength and balance." 

Side activities like cycling or running that boost your cardio will get your heart rate and lungs pumping, and they also add to leg strength, so that's all good in terms of ski conditioning. 

Hip roll exercise ... courtesy REI

Start with these ski conditioning exercises
from REI ... the post has text and video. The exercises are pretty basic, but all doable and not that hard. All of them seem like they'd be really effective in working specific areas of your body. And like many of the exercises described in these routines, you barely need any special workout machines or anything like that ... just you, your workout mat, and a few free weights or kettle bells, and maybe a few props. 

The REI ski workout routine includes hip rolls, working the inner thighs, squats, lunges, lateral ski jumps, core work and more.  

The next two are from ... and they're a bit more advanced, but all doable at some level hopefully! 

Here are seven exercise routines from pro big-mountain skier Crystal Wright of Jackson Hole. Again, text and video. Really cool stuff! She covers things like "leg blasters," a combo of lunges and squats, jump lunges and jump squats. And then lateral ski jumps, lower back work, single-leg dead lifts, and finishes off with Jane Fonda leg exercises! 

Lateral ski jump ... courtesy REI

And to finish this out, how about a serious ski workout routine from Lindsey Vonn! This one is called "Killer Workout" with "10 exercises to make you strong, fast and explosive on the hill." Courtesy Outside online.

She covers things like front and side plank, flying like a ski jumper on top of an exercise ball, lying leg rotation, mini-band skate walks, one-legged lateral ski jumps, box jump, squats, hamstring curls with the exercise ball and more. 

I know I feel personally motivated to get ready for this year's ski season. We had such a phenomenal year last year ... really the best ski season for me personally since college! So, I really want to be ready this year! I've been biking and hiking consistently, but need to add ski-specific exercises to hit the slopes "running" or shall we say schussing! Ha!

The Treasure Valley YMCA has a month-long ski conditioning class coming up if you're a member ...

See you on the slopes!
- SS

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