Has anybody hit the slopes yet this season? Maybe you’re waiting until the snow gets REAL GOOD before heading up to the mountain. Either way, we want to talk to you about something important : pre-season conditioning. Not your skis and boards - your muscles!
Not being prepared for the season can result in injuries and nagging pains, which will keep you off the mountain and unable to play outside. You know how you can make sure that doesn’t happen? TRAIN YOUR MUSCLES FIRST. Conditioning your muscles beforehand will ensure that you’ll perform better, not get tired as easily, and the obvious - help prevent injury.
Here’s what we suggest:
STRENGTHMuscular strength improves your ability to relax and still maintain control, while making quick adjustments needed on uneven terrain. All the major muscle groups of the body, especially the core, are used for skiing and snowboarding. Here’s how to build strength and balance:
Single Leg Squat
- Stand upright with your feet shoulder width apart and extend both arms out in front of you while interlocking your fingers.
- Make sure both feet are planted on the ground with your toes pointed forward.
- Extend one of your legs in front of you.
- Your knee should not be bent, and your foot should be on an angle with your toes pointed towards the ceiling.
- Do not let this leg or foot touch the ground.
- Lower your body by sitting back and bending your knee. (the squatting motion should be fluid - not jerky - as you sit back)
- Squat down as low as you can.
- From the bottom position, push your heel against the floor and stand up.
- Make sure to keep your extended leg straight, and your arms out in the air in front of you.
- Repeat until you’ve done 10 on one side, and switch to the other leg.
The best stretches for skiers and boarders focus on the lower extremities and snowboarders need to stretch the upper body as well. Here’s what you should do:
- Stand with your knees slightly bent and your arms crossed in front of you.
- Slowly look over one shoulder and let your whole body follow until you feel a good stretch in the back and side.
- Hold 5 seconds and repeat in the other direction.
You need to ante up your cardiovascular endurance before hitting the slopes. We suggest road, mountain, or even stationary biking! It’ll build up the heart and lungs and focus on the leg muscles that you’re going to use. Here’s the routine we suggest:
- Warm-up with an easy spin of 5 minutes.
- Add high-intensity efforts (sprint) for about 30 seconds. You should be working at about 90% of your cycling capacity.
- Spin easy for a minute and repeat 2-5 times depending upon your fitness level.
- Cool down for about 5 minutes.
So, we’re obviously going to use this opportunity to shamelessly plug an upcoming class series that we’re doing ...
We're hosting THREE Ski + Board Conditioning Classes in December! Come on down to the studio at 10AM on December 3rd, 10th, and 17th to build solid legs, stabilize your core, increase balance and so much more. Ski + Board will get you in tip-top shape for the upcoming season using ski specific intervals, calisthenics, agility and strength exercises.
Oh, and just to make sure it's super authentic, we'll even give you free hot chocolate at the end of class :). Check out the schedule to sign up!