If you're a serious skier or snowboarder, you already know that a strong and supple body can make the difference between a long and satisfying season and one fraught with fatigue, strains and maybe even serious injuries. One way to do that is with a pre-season conditioning program that targets sports-specific muscle groups.
Below are just a few of many exercises designed to improve balance and agility by strengthening legs, abs, back, core and arms. These exercises can be done by themselves or added to your usual workout. Perform them at least three days a week with one day of rest between workouts. It is important to begin with 8 to 10 minutes of light cardio exercise as a warm-up.
Squat and Sweep
1. Start with feet hip-width apart, holding a medicine ball or dumbbell.
2. Squat as low as possible, touching the ball to the floor. Keep knees behind toes, hold abs tight.
3. Keep weight on heels while sweeping the weight forward, up and overhead. Control the movement without using momentum. Repeat movement for 30 seconds to one minute, two to three sets.
Push-ups with Side Planks
1. Perform one push-up (knees or toes).
2. As you come up, shift weight to left arm, twist to right side while bringing the right arm up toward the ceiling to side plank position. Hold for three to five seconds.
3. Lower arm back to the floor, perform another push-up and twist to the other side. Repeat movement 30 seconds to one minute, two sets.
1. Position right shin behind you on ball (or step) and bend front knee slowly into a lunge.
2. Squeeze through the heels as you rise to starting position. Keep knee, toe and torso straight, abs tight. Change legs and repeat.
3. Increase intensity by adding dumbbells in each hand. Repeat movement 30 seconds to one minute, two sets.
1. Begin with feet wide, toes slightly out, holding weight at chest level.
2. Lunge to the right, bending right knee (keep knee behind the toe) and touch weight to the floor.
3. Press back to start and lunge to the left, touching the weight to floor. Keep the abs tight, back and torso straight.
4. Control the movement; make it intense and do not use momentum. Repeat movement 30 seconds to one minute, two to three sets.
1. Begin with feet together.
2. Bend knees and jump to the right as far as you can. Perform the jump laterally, not vertically. Land lightly with soft knees.
3. Repeat the jump to the left. Continue for 30 seconds to one minute, two sets.
1. Lie face down with ball supporting hips and lower torso. Toes (or knees) maintain balance behind you.
2. With hands behind the head, lift the chest off the ball, while bringing shoulders up until body is in a straight line. Squeeze lower back muscles, hold for three to five seconds.
3. Lower chest and repeat. Continue for 30 seconds to one minute, two sets.