Ski season is coming! Some resorts have already opened (Mammoth Mountain on Nov. 13th). It’s pretty exciting to think about hitting the slopes and enjoying the winter season. And while there will definitely be restrictions and procedures in place to manage Covid-19 spread, there is another issue to consider – are you in ski shape?
This question applies to everyone, whether you’re a beginner or an expert, because skiing and snowboarding are physically demanding sports. If you have fallen out of the workout routine during these strange times, you would be wise to start a small exercise program, so your body is ready to last a full day on the slopes.
What’s important for the activity of skiing and snowboarding? Kind of everything, but to narrow it down to the essentials, you’ll want to focus on:
We’ve put together a little exercise routine that will help get these areas in shape. But first, I’ll talk a little bit about cardio.
Cardio is important because in addition to heavily exerting yourself while skiing, you’re doing so at altitude which places added stress on your lungs and breathing. And if you’ve suffered any respiratory illness this year (whether it be Covid-19 or the common cold), you’ll want to know beforehand how your lungs will respond to exertion.
If you haven’t been exercising, you can start testing and training your cardio by walking. Walk around your neighborhood, a local park or a creek trail. If this is easy for you, you can try more strenuous activities like hiking, jogging and biking.
Hiking is a great way to get in shape. It works your quads, glutes and hamstrings on the uphills and downhills and builds your cardio. Biking is also great at working your quads, glutes and cardio. If you prefer the gym, try the Stairmaster, bike or a spin class!
Now that cardio is out of the way, the following are additional exercises to build strength and mobility that will help you perform well on the slopes, while minimizing your risk of injury.
If you know us, you probably saw this one coming!
Do 2 minutes on each side. If you have difficulty with this in the beginning, start with 30 seconds and try to build up to 2+ minutes.
Perform this for 30-45 seconds.
Perform 5 to 10 circles in each direction, each wrist.
Beast (Bear) Crawl
Perform this for 10 – 30 seconds.
Perform 3-6 circles in each direction, each shoulder.
This exercise can be performed sitting or standing. Keep core tight.
Perform 10-20 total lunges.
Repeat the circuit 3 times (or as many as you want!)
You may be wondering why we’ve included wrist and shoulder mobility in this routine. First of all, many people lack mobility in these joints. Working your wrist mobility will help ease the strain on your wrists while performing the Beast Crawl.
But the real reason we’ve added these is because falling, crashing and wiping out is a very real possibility while skiing and snowboarding. And we can’t always control how gracefully we fall! Having good shoulder, wrist and hip mobility will reduce your chance of injury, in case you do fall.
An added bonus to building strength and cardio with this routine is that you’ll be improving your overall health, too. And that’s something you’ll be thankful for going into the winter “flu” season.
Now get out and get active!