Preparing for Ski Season

We haven’t had snow but I bet it is on the way…   For those of you who like to downhill or cross-country ski, it’s good to get those legs in shape pre-season!!  When you do finally go skiing, you will have more endurance when you start out and less soreness the next few days!

The most important muscle is the quadriceps, the big muscle along the front of the thigh.  It is important to train the muscle in a similar way to how it will be used.  For skiing downhill, that means moderate flexion and long “holds.”  A great exercise for that is a squat at the wall.

  • Stand with your back against a wall, placing your feet about two feet out in front of you. Feet should be hip-distance apart.
  • Bending your knees, slide your back down the wall until your knees are at 90 degree angles. Your knee joints should be over your ankle joints, so you may need to inch your feet further from the wall to create proper alignment. Your thighs should remain parallel.
  • Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, and then stand up. Repeat for a total of three reps.
  • To make this move more challenging, alternate between lifting your left heel for a few seconds and then your right. This helps to target your calves.

Following the wall squat, it is good to stretch the quadriceps as well.  In standing, bend your knee behind you, grab the foot and pull to stretch this same muscle.  Stretches should be held 5 – 10 seconds and done 3 – 5 repetitions.

If you are more of a cross-country skier, you would need to do frequent short contractions, so slide up and down the wall repeatedly (50- 100 repetitions – think about how long you would be skiing – an hour??!!).  Another option for cross-country skiers would be the “lunge-walk” to strengthen the quads and gluts.

STEP 1: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Keep your arms straight and hold your dumbbells at your sides.
STEP 2: Move your right foot forward, bending both knees and with the left knee pointing towards the floor. Keep your upper body straight.
STEP 3: Slightly straighten your legs and do another Lunge. Step forward using your left foot and bend both knees. Keep your arms and dumbbells at your sides until you finish the exercise.

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