Exercises to Prep for Ski Season
It's that time of year again where we start to see the white stuff falling and we start to get excited for ski season! Experts are forecasting an El Nina year, and with the Covid-19 related restrictions on resorts this season, I'll bet more and more people are going to be grabbing their touring gear or cross country skis this year.
We've all been there; that first ski of the season with sluggish climbs and burning legs, thinking "you want me to go UP THERE?!" What if I told you that you could hit the slopes without having to dust off the cobwebs, ready to go like it was the last day of the season. Well, with some pre-season strengthening, you can do just that. For an endurance athlete, like ski-touring or cross country skiing, the training strategy is low weight and high reps. Areas to focus on include cardio, core, legs and hips, balance/stability and ski specific movements. Below are my favourite pre-season strengthening exercises to prep for a safe, fun and injury free return to the snow!
1. Lateral Sliders
Lateral sliders are a dynamic side lunge movement pattern that increases power and agility throughout the lower body. Lateral sliders engage your core throughout the entire movement, and focus on lateral stability.
Skaters are an explosive version of the lateral lunge and help to build strength in the core, quads, glutes and hamstrings. Skaters improve stability in the ankle, and challenge the lateral stability system.
3. Reverse Lunge with Rotation (add in theraband)
Lunges are a great lower body exercise that incorporate lots of muscles directly related to ski touring. Adding in theraband rotation challenges the core and provides an increased dynamic challenge to increase stability within the lunge position.
4. Single Leg Squat with Band Pull Aparts
Single leg squats help to strengthen the glutes, core and quads. Adding band pull aparts using theraband challenges the core system further, and helps to increase stability within the movement.
5. Pallof Press in Split Squat
The pallof press is an excellent dynamic anti-rotation exercise that challenges the core in a more functional way. Adding in the split squat position adds a harder element of lower body strengthening.
6. Standing Hip Flexor March + Single Leg Squat
Hip flexors are a common injury spot in ski touring and cross country skiing and strengthening can go along way in preventing injury. The standing hip flexor march mimics the uphill climb of ski touring, and adding in a single leg squat really gets the lower body fired up!
7. Plank Renegade Rows
It wouldn't be a pre season strengthening program without a little traditional core in the form of a plank! Add in some rows to up the challenge.