If you’re one of the many Central Texans who will be heading to the slopes over the next few months, it’s time to get your body in check. Even if you’re active throughout the year it’s important to prepare for the unique physical demands of skiing (not to the challenges of a higher altitude) so you’re not injured early on and sidelined to the bunny hill.
Ski season peaks in mid-March which is about six weeks away, so now is the perfect time to start a ski-centric workout. Here are five easy exercises Texas Orthopedics suggests to help get you ready:
1.Squats and lunges
Both are great for strengthening leg and thigh muscles. Keep abs and back muscles engaged while performing these. Aim for three sets of 10, and alternate between the two each day.
Upper body strength is vital for steering well on the slopes. Do a modified version to start if that’s easier (raised up on knees instead of toes), and work up to 20 a day.
3. Single-leg balance
Balance is key to a successful ski run…less falling means less injury. Stand on one leg and make small circles with the other both to the front and then back. Switch legs and repeat 10 times on each side.
Step up onto a block, or low, stable stool or bench, with one foot. Bring the other up to meet it, then step back down with that second foot. This improves leg strength and coordination for quick turns and weaving on the slopes. Perform this sequence three times with 10 reps each.
5. Yoga or Pilates
Yoga and Pilates both encourage core strength, flexibility, and balance, all beneficial to the sport of skiing Find a few poses that you like and perform these regularly as a wind-down from the more intense moves above.
As with any workout, make sure to warm up sufficiently before starting with a few minutes of stretching, jumping rope, or brisk walking. Adding cardio to this is also a great idea also to ensure your heart is prepped for the added strain of physical activity at a higher elevation.
If you have any concerns about past injuries before skiing this season, please contact us to make an appointment with one of our specialists.
(Adapted from Active.com)