Though recreational skiers rarely acknowledge it, skiing is an incredibly strenuous sport. Athletes need endurance, strength, and agility to ski even the easiest of slopes. Accidents are common, but not all injuries occur during falls—bad knees, back injuries, and foot injuries are common among recreational skiers. The best way to combat your seasonal ski injury flare-ups? Establishing an exercise routine to build muscle and prepare for the season ahead. In starting a workout routine in the off-season, Maryland skiers will improve their form, gain strength, and build excitement for the season ahead.
If you’re looking for guidance on which muscle groups to target and which exercises you can practice, you’re in the right place. Three exercises, when practiced correctly, will build the ski body you’ve been wanting since you picked up the sport. See below for descriptions and brief instructions on performing these moves.
Leg Blasters—After a long day of skiing, your legs are likely to be the sorest part of your body. Build strength and endurance with leg blasters, which incorporate squats and dynamic movements. Practice jump lunges and jump squats to get the most out of the exercise, but start with static squats if you need to build up your strength. To perform a jump lunge, start with your left leg forward. Using your legs and core, jump up and switch legs in the air, landing with your right foot in front of you. To do a jump squat, start with your feet more than shoulder length apart and sit back into a squat. Shift the weight from your heels to the balls of your feet and explode upward, then land as softly as possible.
Russian Twists—This core exercise is a great way to incorporate dynamic movement into abdominal work. You’ll target all sides of your core, generating the strength and flexibility you’ll need for slalom-style turns. To do this exercise, sit on the ground and lean up slightly, bending the knees and hips at a 90-degree angle. With your feet off the floor, engage your core and rotate your upper body as far as you can to the right, return to the center, then do the same to the left. If you want to make the exercise more difficult, hold a dumbbell or weight plate while twisting.
Deadlifts—This exercise works to stabilize your glutes, hamstring, and core, enhancing overall balance and ankle stability. Single-leg deadlifts are often the most effective for skiers. Standing upright, extend your hands and slowly lean forward, leading with your chest. Slowly lift one leg out behind you while keeping your base leg slightly bent to maintain balance and prevent hyperextension. Holding a weight, lean forward while keeping your back leg straight and in line with your torso. Return to the standing position and repeat. Remember to switch to the opposite leg.
Traditional exercising not your thing? Looking for an excuse to try something new? June 6th is National Gardening Exercise Day. Seriously, give it a try. Next to skiing, it’s one of the most therapeutic things we know.