By Stefanie Rubin | September 28, 2016 | Lifestyle
It’s almost time to hit the slopes this winter, but before you tug on your ski gear, make sure your body is ready to sweep down those mountains. We asked four Aspen-based fitness professionals for their advice on how to prepare for the upcoming ski season.
“Winter sports like skiing and snowboarding demand both strength and mobility from our bodies, not to mention mental focus, in rapidly changing positions. So, the dynamic nature of yoga makes it ideal for conditioning. I recommend incorporating dynamic Vinyasa Flow classes to your routine that are different each time and feature both frontal-plane and side-plane movements, as well as fluid movement like Sun Salutations. For strength and endurance, think dynamic core stabilization (movements like bringing your right elbow to your left knee to strengthen the Transverse Abdominus) and holding standing poses a bit longer than you might want to without holding your breath. Finally, practicing a deep breath during challenging poses and movements can help to maintain a clear head on the downhill.”
“Pilates is the ideal ski and snowboard conditioning exercise to prepare your body for the rigors of the mountain. It not only provides full body strengthening, but works on muscle balance, overall flexibility, joint mobility, range of motion, endurance and body awareness. These are all key components for optimum performance and injury prevention! Core strength is essential and comes from your pelvic floor muscles, transverse abdominus, multifidus, internal obliques, external obliques and sometimes the rectus abdominis. These attributes make a skier more energy efficient by creating a stronger and more resilient structure which can adapt more efficiently to the terrain.”
"Skiing is a very physical sport that requires a lot of action from different muscles all over your body. You have to do proper exercises and toning to get in good shape for ski season. It's important that you focus on strength training as well as cardio and flexibility. Integrate specific weight lifting workouts for skiing into your routine (remember to allow your muscles 24 hours to recover.) Taking our Dryland Training classes 6-8 weeks before hitting the slopes can help make sure that you have the endurance and conditioned muscles to enjoy your snow sport without injury."
“It's time to shift your training focus back to ski and snowboard season. Most of the recommended ski/snowboard workouts out there jump straight into training the muscles of the lower extremities (legs) along with agility drills and plyometrics. While these things are indeed important, it all starts with the CORE. Think of the core as everything between the shoulders and hips on all sides (front, back, and both sides of your body). Increased stability, endurance, and strength in the core (in that order of importance) will increase your athletic performance on the hill and decrease the likelihood of injuries to the knees and other joints. Practice these exercises daily a week or two before you move into things like squats, lunges, kettle swings, agility drills, and plyometrics, and then keep them in your regular routine: side planks-5 reps, 10-20 second holds each rep, planks- 5 reps 10-20 seconds each rep, bird dog (opposite arm/leg extension)- 10 reps, 10-20 second holds each rep, crunches- 10 reps, 10-20 second holds each rep, repeat all one more time.”