Preparing for the Ski Season

By Jill Healy - Quintard | In News | on April 6, 2011
As Winter is not too far away now is the time to prepare your self for popular Winter pastimes; Skiing and Snowboarding
Becoming fitter before you go will insure that you will have a much better snow holiday, less chance of injury and therefore more fun.
The first step in the preparation is to begin your ski specific fitness program at least 6 weeks before you go.
Skiing makes a person very imbalanced as the back and legs become very strong but the chest muscles become weak and the shoulders become rounded, so if you train at strengthening the weaker muscles then they won’t become injured while skiing.
Pilates and general aerobic conditioning at a moderate intensity is a great way to start.
Pilates is important as it builds up core strength and focuses on balance, flowing movement, centering, alignment, mind/body focus, breathing and posture which all helps the participant to focus and understand the way their body moves. Skiing entails a great degree of lateral side to side hip movement to use both the outside and inside of the ski and snow boarders use a lot of forward and back hip movement and rotational movement to change direction of the board. Building core abdominal strength with specific Pilates exercises will improve balance, control and agility.
Pilates Exercises for Ski Conditioning;
  • Spinal Roll Downs and Thoracic Twists are excellent for strengthening and flexibility of the spine and a great warm up for the spine.
  • Switching core muscles on from your pelvic floor to navel, using imagery such as a wide, tight belt, zipping up a tight pair of jeans all the way to the waist line while drawing in your abdominal muscles. While doing these exercises I found that using the best waist trainer I have really helps tighten those muscles.
  • Keeping abdominals switched on using the breath. Breath in imagine the belt tightening to number 5 hole of a 10 hole belt and then try and do your workout at that strength, breathing in and out tightening and loosening the muscles and being aware of engaging the deep abdominals.
  • The other very important requirement is strong quadriceps or thigh muscles. Placing your back against a wall and sliding down until you are in a semi sitting position and hold for 10 breaths in and out while keeping your core muscles switched on. These are the largest muscles in the body and will aid you with the endurance that skiing and snow boarding requires.
There are very many Pilates exercises to develop core strength, body conditioning, agility, alignment etc and enrolling in a Pilates class or engaging a Pilates Personal Trainer would be of great benefit to your ski/snowboarding holiday.
Commencing a fast paced walking program will be of benefit for your aerobic conditioning. Maintaining a heart rate of 120-130 beats per minute while walking for 30 minutes continuously is a good start. Make sure that you check with your Medical Practitioner before beginning any exercise program.
Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
When you begin to feel tired and sore after along day skiing a warm bath or massage is recommended. Bio magnesium is a great supplement to take to help relieve muscles aches and pains.
Jill Healy-Quintard

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