Skiing is a terrific outdoor sport that people of all ages can appreciate. But in order to be prepared for this physically demanding and fun sport, a proper exercise regimen is necessary.

It’s not enough just to turn up after little more than walking the dog for the last few months!

Skiing as a sport

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Skiing involves all three planes of motion: sagittal, frontal and transverse. Muscle strength and endurance, balance and cardio-pulmonary endurance are vital to keep you participating.

When skiing, motor control and balance are crucial to staying upright while flying downhill on frictionless equipment.  If stability cannot be maintained, then your level of enjoyment or performance will be compromised.

Ski exercises to improve your balance

– Holding a squat position with your eyes closed for 30-45 seconds

– Stand on one foot flat on the floor with the other foot placed on a bosu ball in a series of 30 second squats or lunges.

– Removing your ocular field by closing your eyes is an essential balance and proprioceptive exercise.  Holding a quarter squat and/or side lunge with eyes closed for 30 seconds can significantly improve your balance.

– The bosu is effective in improving balance and stability because the apparatus forces you to maintain balance and proper on an unstable surface.

Muscular strength and endurance

These are huge in preparing and improving your skiing.  By improving your muscular strength and endurance, this positively affects your balance and motor control.

Strength training for this outdoor activity involves multi-joint exercises that incorporate large muscle groups.

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Exercises that are key for your program

Barbell squats, walking lunges forward and backward, and Kettlebell swings for the lower body.  Side lunges are incredibly pertinent to lower body strengthening in the frontal plane and are sport specific exercise regarding skiing.

For the upper body: exercises that improve the strength of the shoulders are crucial.  Important exercises for the upper body are: shoulder presses, lateral and frontal raises, lat pulldowns, and seated rows will have you prepared for the ski season.

For trunk or core stability: Bosu planks (feet on the flat side of the bosu with the dome down), Cable wood chops; great transverse plane exercise and, Hip bridges will prepare your body for the elements of wintery season.

Cardio-pulmonary exercise in your daily training regimen is necessary too:  Utilizing a stair mill, stationary bike, treadmill, and/or elliptical will improve heart and lung fitness.  Cardio exercises that focus on knee drive and/or hip and modality strengthening the movement patterns that are necessary for being on the slopes.

By coupling 30 to 45 minutes of cardio with your strength training, you will receive the health and fitness benefits to stay active on the slopes.  Mix and match your cardio as well.

For example – try 15 minutes on the stair climber followed by 15 minutes on the treadmill walking at 4 mph at 7% grade and then finish with elliptical for 15 minutes as a cool down. These are some basic and practical exercises to gear you up for the skiing season. Strength training 3 to 4 times with 135 to 180 minutes of cardio a week will help you see the improvements necessary to enjoy the slopes and be injury free. Connect with Expert John Monteleone

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