Top 5 Exercises for Ski Season
Winter is coming
Ski and Snowboard season is but a few weeks away! Soon we will be enjoying our winter playground and soaking up the spectacular natural beauty of BC. Nothing makes us happier than a day of getting outside, challenging our bodies, and of course connecting with friends over an apres ski.
The first few days up the mountain can be rough on the body. Who can’t relate to the excruciating quad burn during (and after!) the first ski day of the year? Dedicating some time to the physical preparation of your winter sports can really pay off.
Why should you consider an exercise plan before starting the winter season?
Exercise can help build your capacity for movement, overall reducing the element of fatigue and reducing the likelihood of injury. A well structured plan will prepare you for the demands of the sport. It’s important to work on your strength, speed, balance, agility and muscular endurance. Less leg burn on the slopes will allow you to enjoy your ski days even more.
Strength training can also build resilience, better muscular tone and bone density. Falling is a risk associated with the sport, but better muscular strength can minimize the effects of a fall as well as help you get back up with ease.
What type of exercise program would give the best results?
Look for a program that encompasses all the elements of your sport; strength, balance, core stability as well as muscular endurance and power. Exercises should focus primarily on the legs, hips and core. The movements should be functional and sports specific (ie. squat vs. leg press). Training in higher rep ranges (6-15) can help encourage more muscular endurance than maximal strength. Ideally training 2-3 times per week will yield the best results.
What are the top 5 exercises to help you prepare?
Here are the Kinected Strength top 5 exercises to help you prepare for your winter season! Give them a try and let us know what you think!
Squats are a great functional exercise to help build strength in your leg muscles. Both skiing and snowboarding challenge strength and endurance of the quadriceps (front of the thigh). You can modify your squat variation for your level, by controlling the dept and load.
Rep range: 6-12 reps
Weight: Will depend on your exercise experience. Weight should feel like a 6-7 out of 10. The goal of this exercise is to build muscular endurance.
Pro Tip: Slow the down phase of your squat to 3 sec. This challenges your muscles in an eccentric contraction which will build more strength and resilience.
1.5 Goblet Squat with Kettlebell Try this more advanced variation for a guaranteed leg burn
2. Lateral Lunge
Winter sports involve countless changes of direction and with that come a risk of knee injuries. Lateral lunges challenge your body in the frontal plane, involving the muscles on the inner and outer aspect of your leg. These muscles provide support to your knee, hip and pelvis.
Rep range: 6-10 reps per side
Pro Tip: Try to limit your ground contact time on your stepping leg.
Lateral Lunge with Kettlebell Try this more advanced variation for a guaranteed leg burn
3. Drop Squat to Jump
Winter sports involve fast movements which often involve absorbing forces several times your body weight. This exercise teaches you to absorb forces appropriately through your muscles and tendons quickly and channel that energy into a powerful explosive movement.
Rep range: 5-8
Pro Tip: Try to focus on your landing mechanics, dissipating the forces through your muscles. As you land, knee your knees wide (like a squat). Land softing on both the drop and from the jump.
Squat Jump Try this more advanced variation.
4. Balance Taps
Proprioception and balance are essential to injury prevention. This dynamic balance drill forces you to balance one limb while moving the other. You will wake your muscles from the ankle to the core!
Rep range: 3-6 per side
Pro Tip: Try to move slowly with control. Often when trying to improve one’s balance we immediately introduce an unstable surface. While this has its merits, try to master your balance exercises on a stable surface before heading for a bosu ball or foam pad.
3 Way Balance Taps on Foam Block Try this more advanced variation for more of a challenge.
5. Side Plank Hip Thrusts
This exercise targets the muscles on the otter hip, as well as your core and shoulders. Having stronger muscles around the hip joint will support proper alignment of the entire lower limb
Rep range: 6-12 per side
Pro Tip: Instead of lifting and lowering the hips, push them forward to come up and reach them back to tap the floor.
Side Plank Hip Thrusts with Band Try this more advanced variation
Kinected Strength’s Winter Performance Program
If you want more of a comprehensive training plan, contact email@example.com to learn more about our 6 week, 3 day program to get you prepped for your best ski season yet!
Ski Season Strength Part 2: Warm-up for your day on the slopes (November 2023)
Ski Season Strength Part 3: Maintain strength during ski season (Dec/Jan 2024)