Six Exercises To Get You Ski And Snowboard Ready
The lucky people who live near ski resorts and have season passes can slowly increase their stamina over the course of a couple of months with just a few hours of skiing or riding a day. The weekend warriors, however, have to get the full ski/board experience for a season in a matter of a few days to a week. There is no time to have sore muscles when the powder is calling. In addition, strengthening your muscles and improving your endurance can help prevent injury.
The week before your winter vacation is not time to “cram” to improve your fitness. It is recommended to start these exercises at least 4 weeks before your trip to strengthen your fitness level to get the most out of your winter vacation.
Lunges – Targets gluteus maximus (you know – butt muscle), quadriceps (front of thigh), hamstrings (back of thigh), and calves. Stand with feet at shoulder’s width apart and knees slightly bent. We called this “ready position” in 6th grade gym class. Step forward with the right foot then bend both knees so the right thigh is parallel to the floor and the left knee is perpendicular with your left heel lifted off the floor. To avoid injury, keep your right knee from travelling forward past your right toe. Repeat the exercise with the left leg leading. Start with 20 lunges (10 each leg) and work up to 50. You will feel the burn from this exercise.
Squats – Targets glutes, quads and hamstrings. Start at ready position again. Now with your back straight, sit back like you are going to sit in a chair but stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor. Raise back up to starting position. Start with 25 squats and work up to 50. It will hurt so good tomorrow!
Running/Walking – Cardio. In addition to strengthening your leg muscles, you will need the stamina to keep playing all day. Improving your cardiac efficiency will also help you acclimate to the higher altitudes more easily. Again, start slow and work your way up to 3-5 miles per day. In Texas, I’m lucky enough to be able to run all year round, but depending on your hometown, you may need to seek out a gym to use a treadmill or elliptical machine.
Cycling – If the idea of banging out your cardio on a treadmill has the same allure as a root canal, you might try a spin class. Most spin classes are one hour and really help build muscle and stamina. Alternatively, if you own a bike, you can purchase a bike trainer and cycle in the comfort of your living room in front of your tv. HGTV is my preferred cycling channel.
Bicep Curl – Targets biceps (upper arm top muscle). Most people forget upper body strength is helpful when skiing, also. Remember pole-ing through the flats? Start at ready position. Start with a lighter weight (5 pounds) in each hand. Tuck your elbows into your sides and bend your arm up at the elbow with palms facing up and move hands towards your shoulder. Start with 10 repetitions for each arm and build to 20 reps while increasing weights.
Tricep Extension – Targets triceps (upper arm muscle in back). Start in your ever useful ready position with a lighter weight in each hand. Raise both hands over your head, then bend at the elbow and lower the weight behind your head. Extend arms back to starting position. Keep elbows in during the exercise and take care not to bonk yourself in the head with the weights. Start with 10 reps and build to 20 reps.
Once your fitness level is up to par, you can fully enjoy your ski/snowboarding vacation, especially on day two and three when the rest of your party is whining about sore muscles and low energy levels. Since you are in such good shape – check out Park City Mountain Resort’s adult ski and snowboarding classes and workshops to take your skills to the next level.
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