THE GOAL: Strengthening the muscles used most often in skiing to prevent injuries, minimize soreness and have the best possible day on the slopes
THE EXPERT: Jackie Collins, personal trainer at E3 Fitness in Vancouver
THE INFO: Ideally, you want your ski fit program to begin eight weeks prior to your first day on the mountain, but really, any strength is better than none. Key areas to look at are muscular strength and endurance, as most injuries occur in the afternoon of your first few days on the slopes. Flexibility is also crucial and should not be overlooked. Improving range of motion will allow your body to adjust to any sudden changes in direction and help prevent injury when you fall. Remember that cardiovascular endurance and flexibility are also crucial components to a ski fit program.
1. Lunge (Intermediate):
Take a big step forward with one leg and bend until your thigh is almost parallel to the floor. Make sure your front knee stays behind your toes. Keep your chest up and shoulders back.
Perform 8-12 reps for each side with body weight. To increase the difficulty, add a “jump” by jumping upward using your right and left leg, switch feet in mid air and land with your opposite in front.
2. Single Leg Squat (advanced):
Balance on one leg with your arms extended out in front of you. Slowly lower your body towards the floor, keeping your hips back (as if you are sitting onto a bench) and the majority of your body weight in your heel. Make sure to extend your opposite leg out in front and keep your chest and shoulders back. Make sure that your knee stays behind your toes.
Perform 8-12 reps per side with body weight.
3. Static Front Plank (all levels):
Lie face forward on the floor or a mat. Place your forearms directly under your shoulders and your toes under your ankles. Lift your body off the ground keeping your back flat and staying strong through your shoulders. Start by holding this position for 15-30 seconds and increase progressively as you see improvements in your strength.
Perform for 15-30 seconds to begin and gradually increase to 2-3 minutes.
4. Lateral Hops (intermediate):
You will need a wide open space for this exercise. Start by standing on one leg (outside leg) with your knee slightly bent. Using your standing leg, propel yourself laterally and slightly forward using your arms to help gain momentum. If you have limited room, stick with only lateral movements. You want to focus on pushing your body sideways with force and staying in a slight squat position the entire time (as if you were in a ski tuck position). Continue this movement for one minute, and work your way up towards 2-3 minutes.
Perform 20-30 repetitions and slowly build to 1-2 minutes.
Have something that needs fine tuning? Let us know in the comments below.
The new year is the time to take on new challenges, so for the month of January and beyond, The Huffington Post Canada's Living team brings you Fine Tuning: daily workouts, with tips on how to tone up, get healthy and stay fit for the whole year. Each workout will focus on one fitness goal or body part, with our favourite trainers showing you simple ways to get stronger and healthier in less than 45 minutes.
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