Winter is Coming and so is Ski and Snowboarding Season!
Winter is almost here, which means it is time to start getting back into shape for ski season! If you are like me the first few days back on the slopes can be challenging. It could cause a lot of muscle soreness and fatigue. According the the American College of Sports Medicine, several factors can lead to an increased injury rate in skiers and snowboarders. These risk factors include; lack of proper preseason conditioning, muscle fatigue and dehydration. In order to prepare for the season and help reduce your chance of injury, I have put together some of my favorite return to skiing or snowboarding exercises. Strength training exercises should be performed two to three times per week in order to see the best results. You will also want to give your muscles time to recover, so make sure to take a day or so off in between your workouts.
Along with these strengthening exercises, you will want to include some cardiovascular conditioning improving endurance and reduce muscle fatigue when you hit the slopes. This can include hiking, biking, walking or jogging. Either on the treadmill, elliptical or even a rowing machine. Current cardiovascular exercise guidelines recommends thirty minutes of a moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise or fifteen minutes of vigorous intensity five days a week.
What does it mean a moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise? Below are some examples.
- Walking briskly (2.5 miles per hour or faster)
- Recreational swimming
- Bicycling slower than 10 miles per hour on level terrain
- Active forms of yoga (for example, Vinyasa or power yoga)
- Ballroom or line dancing
- General Yard work and home repair
- Exercise classes like water aerobics
Now what is vigorous intensity cardiovascular exercises?
- Jogging or running
- Swimming laps
- Tennis (singles)
- Vigorous dancing
-Bicycling faster than 10 miles per hour
- Jumping rope
- Heavy yard work (digging or shoveling with heart rate increases)
- Hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack
- High- intensity internal training (HIIT)
- Exercise classes like vigorous step aerobics or kickboxing
My favorite return to skiing exercises are as followed:
- Sit to stands: Begin standing with a chair behind you, with your feet at shoulder width apart. Engage your core and keep your shoulder blades down and back, and maintain a neutral spine throughout the exercise. Sit your bottom back keeping most of your weight in your heels. (2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions, 1-2 times a day, 3 days a week)
- Lunges: Start by standing, step forward with the right leg, bending the left knee and perform a lunge. Repeat on the left leg. (2 sets of 10-15 on each leg once a day, 3 days a week)
-Lateral steps: Place a band slightly above your ankles. With your feet shoulder width apart, toes pointed straight ahead, hips square, making sure that your knees are not pointed inward or outward, lean forward, lower your hips and glutes back. Make sure that your back is straight and you are bending at your hips and knees. In this position, gently press out into the band looped above your ankles. Take a step to the side with your lead leg. Keep feet shoulder width apart and your hips low. (2-3 sets of 10-15 steps, once a day, 3 days a week)
-Planks: Begin by lying on your stomach with both forearms under your chest. Keeping your abdominal muscles tight, push up through your forearms so that your chest, hips and knees are off the ground. You should be able to draw a straight line from your ankles though your hips to your shoulders. (2-3 sets of 30 second holds 3 days a week)
-Side plank: Lying on your side with your elbow and forearm under you shoulder, lift your hips off the floor, keeping your abdominal muscles tight. Make sure to keep your body as straight as possible. (3 sets holding for 30 seconds 1-2 times a day, 3 days a week)
-Squat jumps: Begin standing with feet shoulder width apart. Bend your knees and slowly lower your body into a squat position, keeping your core engaged. Explode through your feet and jump as high as you can straight up. When landing make sure you are landing softly with your knees bent back into a squat position. (3 sets of 10-12 repetitions, 1-2 times a day, 3 days a week)
If you have any questions or concerns about starting a new exercise program, feel free to come by on of our clinics to speak with one of your Physical Therapists. We also offer free injury screenings to find out if physical therapy is right for you.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americas, 2nd Edition. 2018. URL: https://health.gov/paguidelines/second-edition/pdf/Physical_Activity_Guidelines_2nd_edition.pdf
Roy, B.A., & Stimpson, K.(2014), Ski/Snowboarding Injuries and Prevention: Brought to you by the American College of Sports Medicine www.acsm.org ACSM's Health and Fitness Journal, 18(1), 3-4.