Procrastinate much? Yeah. Me, too.
Ski season is here and I haven’t really done any focused physical preparation.
If you’re like me, and the season has snuck up on you, here’s a workout to help get you in shape, whether you’ve got two weeks ’til you hit the slopes, or two days.
And you don’t have to stop the workout once you start skiing. These simple exercises will strengthen your hips, knees, legs and core, helping you stay in strong shape all season.
Take 10 minutes to warm up with some light cardio. Ride a bike, run in place, do jumping jacks, whatever it takes to get your muscles warm and your heart beating.
For added resistance, do these exercises with a mini resistance band. You can find bands at stores like Sports Authority or online at Perform Better. I’m also giving some away! See below.
1. Sideways Walking. Start with a band around your ankles. Begin with your feet together and your toes straight forward, and walk sideways back and forth across the room for thirty seconds. Pause for 5 – 10 seconds and repeat two more times.
Form notes: Keep your knees soft. Don’t lock them. Make sure your shoulders are stacked above your hips. Don’t rock to the side. Don’t lean forward or backward. Step cleanly, don’t drag your feet.
2. Forward Zigzag Walking. Keep the band around your ankles. This time walk forward in a zigzag motion. Starting with your right foot, step forward and to the right. Bring your feet together and pause. Step forward and to the left, with your left foot. Bring your feet together for another pause, and then continue zigzagging across the room. It reminds me of ice skating.
Do this for 30 seconds, take a 5-10 second break and repeat two more times.
Form notes: Keep your knees soft. Stack your shoulders over your hips. Don’t lean forward or backward. Step cleanly, don’t drag your feet.
3. Sideways Walking, in a Squat: Repeat the Sideways Walking exercise above, keeping the band around your ankles. This time, squat as you walk. Go for 30 seconds, pause for 5-10 seconds and repeat two more times.
Form notes: Pretend you are sitting in a chair. Make sure you can see your toes. Keep your core tight. Don’t tip forward and squat only as low as is comfortable.
4. Standing Squats. Move the band to just above your knees. For thirty seconds, do as many smooth, controlled squats as you can. Take a 5-10 second break and repeat twice. The band will keep your knees aligned and prevent them from drifting to the sides.
Form notes: Don’t hunch forward. Keep your back straight. Make sure you can see your toes.
5. Hip Abductors. Balance on one leg, with your knee slightly bent. Move your free leg forward, and then back to start. Then move it to the side and back to start. Finally move it backward, and back to start.
Repeat this cycle, forward, side, back for 30 seconds. Switch legs after a 5 second pause. Repeat the entire cycle with both legs two more times. To make it a lot harder, use a band.
Form notes: Keep your knee slightly bent and your core firm.
Lying Down Exercises
6. Side-lying Hip Abductors. Lie on your side with your hips stacked. Imagine a rod connecting your hips to the ground. With your lower leg bent at the knee, keep your top leg straight, raise it as high as is comfortable and then lower it. Repeat for 30 seconds, pause for 5-10 seconds and then do two more sets. Repeat the entire sequence with the other leg.
For more challenge, pull your top leg back so that your shin is touching the lower heel. Keep your hips aligned and do the above exercise from this position.
Form notes: Focus on keeping your hips aligned. Don’t roll forward or backward. Keep the top leg straight.
7. Single Leg Ab Reach. A core stabilization exercise, start on your back with one knee bent and your foot flat on the floor. Lift your free straight leg up and then pull it back toward your chest before extending it out again. It’s kind of like riding a bike with one leg, but you’re moving your leg in and out, not around in a circle. Repeat for 30 seconds, take a 5 -10 second break. Do a total of three sets with each leg.
Form notes: Keep your back flat and tight. Don’t let your free heel touch the ground.
Cool Down and Stretch
Stretching is always good…but somehow so hard to do. Make sure you save a few minutes at the end of your workout to stretch your calves, quads and hamstrings.
Win a set of three resistance bands: green (easy), blue (medium) and black (hard) by leaving a comment on this post. One winner will be chosen randomly from all comments received on Tuesday, November 25th.
Many thanks to Bryan Whitesides and his PT team (Brenda and Shelbi) at Rocky Mountain Orthopaedics for developing, and demonstrating, this workout.
- Get in Shape for Skiing and Snowboarding, October 21, 2013.
- Get in Shape for Ski Season, October 24, 2012.
- Get Ready for Ski Season in 15 Minutes Per Day, October 13, 2011.
- Getting In Shape for Skiing (Alpine Skiing, That Is), September 14, 2010.
- Getting in Shape for Snowboarding, September 16, 2010.
- Getting in Shape for Telemark and Cross Country Skiing, September 15, 2010.
This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Mary Day!
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