You might be ski season ready, but are you ABC fit ski season ready? Following the tips below could help improve your performance and injury proof your body. Because better a bad day on the piste than a good day in surgery having ACL reconstruction right?
Incorporating these exercises into your routine in the run up to your ski season trip will help with overall performance and injury prevention. Aim for 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps on each.
Heels Elevated Goblet Squat
The Goblet squat is a great lower body strength exercise. Elevating the heels will allow you to place more emphasis on the vastus medialis (VMO). This is the tear dropped shaped muscle above the knee that plays a vital role in knee stability.
1. With feet hip width distance apart, elevate your heels under two small weight plates. Hold a dumbbell close to your chest. This will be your starting position.
2. Squat down between your legs until your thighs are at least parallel to the ground. Keep your chest and head up and your back straight.
3. At the bottom position, pause briefly and drive through the heels back to the start position.
Unilateral Leg Extension
The leg extension alone is a fantastic quads isolation exercise, but performing it with one leg will shift more emphasis on the VMO. Again great for knee stability.
1. For this exercise you will need to use a leg extension machine. First choose your weight and sit on the machine with your legs under the pad (feet pointed forward).
2. Using your quadriceps, extend one leg to the maximum as you exhale. Ensure that the rest of the body remains stationary on the seat. Pause for a second in the contracted position.
3. Slowly lower the weight back to the original position as you inhale. Perform all reps on one leg before swapping to the other.
Barbell Glute Bridge
Glute strength is important for stability within the femur and therefor the tracking of the knee. It can also help to prevent lower back pain. This exercise is a great glute builder.
1. Begin lying on the ground with a loaded barbell over your hips. Having a pad on the bar can greatly reduce the discomfort caused by this exercise. Knees should be bent to 90 degrees.
2. Begin the movement by driving through with your heels, extending your hips vertically through the bar. Your weight should be supported by your upper back and the heels of your feet.
3. Extend as far as possible, squeeze the glutes and then reverse the motion to return to the starting position.
Despite many core exercises being beneficial for skiing performance, the pallof press works great because it develops anti-rotational strength. Plus it’s standing up, and when you ski, guess what, you’re standing up.
1. Connect a standard D handle to a cable tower, and position the cable to shoulder height.
2. With your side to the cable, grab the handle with both hands and step away from the tower.
3. With your feet positioned hip-width apart, pull the cable into your chest. This is your starting position.
4. Keeping your hips straight and core engaged, press the handle out directly in front of you.
5. Return it to the start position and repeat for reps. Perform all reps on one side before turning around and switching sides.
These nutritional tips are important before, during and after your ski season trip. Improved performance and a faster recovery are the result.
Up Your Omega 3s
Omega 3s are renowned for their brain health and joint enhancing properties. They also have strong anti-inflammatory properties. This makes them a perfect nutrient to be getting in if you’re a serious skier. A regular serving of oily fish or an omega 3 supplement is a great way to top up your levels.
Give Protein Pole Position
Each of your meals should contain a high quality protein source. This is important for sustained blood sugar levels, a steady supply of energy and the repair of tissues after gruelling workouts and ski sessions. Good sources include meat, eggs and fish.
A hydrated body is a happy body. We are made up of over 60% water, so it goes without saying, staying hydrated is a must. It’s needed in the body for many for many important tasks, including:
– Transportation of oxygen and nutrients.
– Joint lubrication.
– Flushing harmful toxins and body waste, mainly through urination.
– Helping the brain to manufacture hormones and neurotransmitters.
– Regulating body temperature.
– Organ function.
– Fat burning.
Aim for 0.033L of water per KG of bodyweight per day. For a 75kg individual this would be:
0.033L X 75 = 2.4L per day
Feeling stiff after a long day on the slopes? It’s no secret ski season can wreak havoc on your joints and tissues. These mobility drills will sort you right out.
T-Spine Foam Roll
Taking a foam roller to the thoracic spine is a great way to keep it loose and mobile. Skiing for long periods of time means spending a long duration with your spine in forward rounded position. This drill can help realign it back to a better position.
Modified Hip Flexor Stretch
The positions adopted in skiing can often result in the shortening of the hip flexors. Tight hips means faulty hip action and lower back pain. This drill is great to stretch out the hips and quads.