Are you heading out on the slopes this winter? Whether you´re a regular skier or snowboarder, or you´re planning your very first trip, it´s worth doing some targeted exercises before you set off.
Strengthening your skiing muscles now can help prevent injury when you´re out there – which can really affect your fun.
A recent article by the Ski Club of Great Britain set out some great ideas for exercises that can easily be fitted into your daily routine at home or when out and about. They can be done while you´re brushing your teeth, waiting on the phone or standing at the bus stop.
The first one, and perhaps the easiest, is to stand on one leg for two minutes, and then swap legs. As the skiing club explains, this is good for proprioception – the way the body knows where it is in space by using feedback between the brain, nerves, muscles and ligaments. Proprioception is important for balance, which is crucial when skiing and snowboarding.
To strengthen your quads, use a step or something similar and step down off it, lowering yourself smoothly and consciously. Repeat 30 times. And when that gets easy, try holding a heavy object like a tin of beans in each hand.
Now, if you want to avoid some strange looks, these next two are best done when you´re on your own! Leg-to-leg hops are good for stability, while lunge walking helps with balance and coordination as well as strengthening your leg muscles.
Lastly, cycling is fantastic exercise and it actually uses lots of the same muscles as skiing. Not only that, it´s non-load-bearing and the aerobic exercise will help with lung capacity for the high altitude, the Ski Club of Great Britain says.
No matter how active (or not!) you´ve been over the warmer months, these exercises are a handy way to help wake up the skiing muscles.