Exercises to Get in Shape for Skiing
Getting in shape can help you get the most from your skiing. You can develop strong legs, enhanced balance, improved fitness and better coordination by performing a preskiing exercise routine two or three times a week. Being in shape for skiing means you will be able to ski longer and harder with a reduced likelihood of injury caused by weakness or fatigue. Include these exercises in your routine to help get in shape for skiing.
Squats are considered by most strength and conditioning coaches as one of the best lower body exercises you can perform. Squats strengthen and condition your legs for the demands of skiing. Performed with dumbbells in your hands, a barbell across your shoulders or just using your body weight, squats target the important quadriceps and hamstring muscles, which control your knee joint and your glutes, or butt muscles. Squats should be the cornerstone of your skiing workout.
Lunges are similar to squats in that they strengthen your legs and prepare you for the rigors of skiing. Lunges, however, also add an element of balance, which is important in skiing. Take a large step forward and then bend your legs until your rear knee lightly touches the floor. Push back up to return to the starting position and repeat the movement leading with your opposite leg. You can make lunges more challenging by holding weights in your hands or resting a barbell across your shoulders.
The stork press develops your shoulders and arms as well as your balance--all important in skiing. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand and raise it to shoulder level. Stand on your right leg. Keep your eyes fixed on a immovable object to help you maintain an upright position. Inhale and press the dumbbell overhead to arm's length. Slowly lower the dumbbell back to shoulder level and continue for the desired number of repetitions. When you have finished your set, rest a moment and then swap arms and legs.
Three Point Plank
A strong core--your abdominal and lower back muscles--will help support your spine while you ski. This is especially important when skiing over moguls or in deep snow. Bend down and place your hands on the floor and then walk your feet back until you are in a push-up position. Keeping your abs tight, lift your left foot 6 inches off the floor and hold for 10 seconds. Replace your foot on the floor and then lift your right foot for 10 seconds. Put your foot down and lift your left hand for 10 seconds before finally placing your left hand back on the floor and raising your right hand. Increase the duration of the holds as you become stronger, and ensure you breathe throughout the exercise.
Skiing involves a lot of side-to-side movement, and lateral jumps develop your inner, outer, front and rear thighs. Stand with your feet together and your arms by your sides, bend your elbows to 90 degrees and bend your knees slightly. Jump 12 inches to your left. On landing immediately jump back to the right--focus on speed of movement and minimal ground contact time. Make this exercise more challenging by jumping over a low agility hurdle or similar obstacle.
- Go Ski: Strength Training for Skiing
- "Skiing Fitness: Conditioning Training for Ski Sports"; Max Rieder and Martin Fiala; 2005
- "Anatomy of Exercise: A Trainer's Inside Guide to Your Workout"; Pat Manocchia; 2009
- skiers image by matko from Fotolia.com