The winter ski season is just around the corner!
So I have created a very short video containing a few exercises you may like to try out in preparation for the first snowfall!
These exercises are focusing on overall stability, shoulder positioning and lower limb strengthening; a slightly more ski-specific whole body workout!
Number 1: Working on alignment of your knees and hips, engaging the gluteals to help prevent any 'A-frame skiing' (knees dropping in) ... also raising arms to bring in shoulder girdle control, to help reduce tension building up in the neck and shoulders whilst skiing, and also help challenge your stability a little more.
Number 2: Working the same areas as before, however engaging the quadriceps as you rock forwards onto your toes and hold this position. This is to help the strength and endurance of your legs for your skiing, and unfortunately the strength in the thighs for when we inevitably end up in the backseat! Hold this exercise as long as you feel you can, really challenge yourself here, it is a good one to repeat in long intervals, (1 min on: 30 secs off). Variations include, changing the angle in your ankles and move your weight forward or backward to target slightly different areas of muscle, then hold.
Number 3: Working the same as previous: lower leg alignment, core strength and lower limb strength. However we are challenging stability further by bringing in side flexion whilst maintaining the squat position. This is to help disassociate the movements between the trunk and the lower quadrant, needed when skiing. This should help enable a good lateral separation, keeping your upper body more upright and facing downhill, whilst you are carving it up down below and getting that bum hovering over the snow.
Number 4: This is the same as number 3, however adding rotation instead of side flexion, again to allow your upper body to remain relaxed and facing down hill while your deep core and legs are doing all the hard work allowing you to carve like a demon!
... try another variation, add the side flexion of number 3 and the rotation of number 4 into one movement.
(These exercises are relatively advanced and really challenge your core strength and stability. Please contact your physiotherapist, or doctor if you have any medical conditions or ongoing injuries prior to trying these exercises.)