For me, COVID-19 was the Freshman-15 of viruses and let’s just say, I need a little work to get ready for Ski Season this year. I took it upon myself to find some simple, easy-to-learn exercises that will help me hit the slopes and stop that -my quads are on fire feeling- that we often get on long runs.
Using knowledge from years of being a gym rat when younger and doing specific research, I've created a quick workout that will help you battle the burn in the gym rather than in the snow this season, check it out:
Nobody likes hurt muscles, so do yourself a favour and do a proper warm-up to get your body ready. Begin this workout with 5 to 10 minutes of steady-state cardio (jump rope, running, biking, mountain climbers, etc.) and then jump directly into the first workout.
Old faithful - quads are arguably the most used muscles when it comes to downhill skiing; there is no better exercise for building strength in your legs. To do a squat follow these basic rules:
For skiing we are going for strength with endurance, so for this try to do 4 sets of 20 reps at bodyweight. If you can do this with proper form easily, try using either dumbbells or a barbell for an extra challenge. Take a 60-second rest between sets, if needed take longer so that you don’t begin to lose proper form.
Lunges are a fantastic exercise for adding strength in your legs while also improving balance. Find yourself a nice spot of open space where you can fully stretch out your legs. Once here, do the following:
Do this in 4 sets of 20 reps (10 for each leg) with your body weight - for added difficulty, use dumbbells. Take a 60-second rest between sets. Want more of a challenge? Try doing Alternating Lunge Jumps Instead.
4. Squat Jumps
Like the squat, but now we’re airborne. This is essentially a normal bodyweight squat, but instead of coming back to the starting position, we’re going to try and jump off the ground to add explosiveness to your quads and glutes.
For this, we are going to be doing 4 sets of 10 with a 30-second rest.
5. Wall Sit
As you can tell, most of these exercises focus heavily on your quads - the wall sit is no exception. This is going to help with those long ski runs, so endurance is key.
Try to repeat this exercise 2 to 4 times - try to take no longer than 60 seconds rest.
Time for some core. This proven exercise is going to boost the strength in your lower abdomen & back, which are both vital for being stable while carving & maneuvering.
Try to repeat this exercise 3 times with a 60-second rest.
The dreaded word. Even if your legs and core are strong, you’re still going to be struggling on the hill if your cardio is nowhere to be found. I prefer HIIT Cardio on a bike, however, you can do other forms of HIIT if you’d like.
Do this for 3 to 4 sets with a 3-minute rest in between each. If you can maintain an rpm over 60, do it!
8. Cool Down
Following these exercises make sure to do another 5 to 10 minutes of low-intensity cardio to help cool down (walking or jogging).
I also highly recommend a good stretching routine to be used with this workout as well as before going skiing. Here’s a great example of a good routine for skiers:Stretching Guide for Alpine Skiing
Looking for more info on exercising for skiers? Check out these awesome articles from the SkiMag.com Fitness Archives.
Looking for a snowboarder specific workout? Stick around for next week’s blog!
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