Ski Fitness: Blue (Intermediate) Workout
Jog, walk vigorously, skip, bike, swim etc. for 5 - 10 minutes. Your heart rate should be slightly elevated and you should have a light sweat at the completion of the warm-up. If you are adding a cardiovascular workout to the strength exercises below, increase the tempo of your workout to such a point that you reach 60 - 70 % of your maximum heart rate and maintain that rate for an additional 20 to 25 minutes.
These exercises are selected to improved flexibility in the muscles primarily used in skiing. Feel free to supplement these exercises with additional ones that you are familiar with. Stretches must only be done with warm muscles. Slow and steady is the key for effective stretching. Move through the stretch to the point where you feel a slight pull or tension in the muscle. Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. Do not bounce.
Sit on the floor. Keep your right leg straight in front of you. Cross your left leg over the right leg so your left foot is flat on the floor outside of your right knee. Twist the torso to the left so you are looking behind you over your left shoulder - place your left hand behind your body to help you balance. Hold for 20 - 30 seconds. Switch legs/sides and repeat.
2 Hurdler Stretch
Sit on the floor with both legs extended in front of the body. Bend your left leg so your left foot is resting against your right knee or thigh. Slowly lower your chest towards your right knee. Keep your chin tucked towards your chest. You can reach towards your right foot with both arms or let them hang beside your torso, whichever is more comfortable. You will feel the stretch in the back of the right thigh and the lower back. Hold stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.
Lie on your back with your legs straight and chin tucked to your chest. Bend your right leg and using both hands gently pull your right knee towards your chest. You will feel the stretch up the back of the right leg (hamstring). Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.
4 Low Back Twist
Lie on your back with both legs straight. Bend your right leg so the knee is at a 90 degree angle. Roll to the left so the right knee touches the floor on the left hand side of your body. Try to keep your shoulders flat on the floor. You will feel the stretch through the lower back and torso. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.
5 Figure 4
Sit in a chair or on a bench so your thighs are parallel with the floor. Place your right foot on your left thigh or knee. With your hands, gently push your right knee towards the floor. You will feel the stretch through the thigh and hip. Hold for 20 - 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.
6 Track Start
Kneel on the floor. Place your right foot in front of your body so your thigh is parallel with the floor. Gently lean forward until you feel the stretch in the left thigh and hip. You can place your hands on the floor by your right foot for balance. Hold for 20 - 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.
7 Cat Stretch
Stretches the lower back and abdominal muscles - Kneel on the floor and place your hands 2 to 3 feet in front of your knees so your back is parallel with the floor. From this position, curve your spine towards the ceiling and hold. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds then return to the starting position and relax. Arch your back so your stomach is lower than your hips and shoulders. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds then return to the starting position and relax. Feel the stretch in the lower back and abdomen. Repeat several times.
8 Calf Stretch
Stand approximately 2 feet from a wall or vertical surface. Facing the wall, place your right foot close to the base of the wall. Keeping your left heel on the ground, lean towards the wall until you feel the stretch in the calf of your left leg. (Note: You may need to experiment with different distances from the wall in order to stretch the calf muscle.) Hold for 20 - 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.
Standing or seated, raise your right arm above your head, bend your elbow so your right hand is touching your right should blade. With your left arm, gently push your right arm backwards. Feel the stretch along the back your right arm. Hold for 20 - 30 seconds. Switch arms and repeat.
Slowly and gently roll your head towards your right shoulder, then to your chest and then towards your left shoulder. Keep your shoulders relaxed and low. From the left shoulder, roll your head back towards your chest and then your right shoulder. Repeat this semicircular motion 4 to 5 times. Feel the stretch in the opposite side of the neck from the side your head is leaning towards.
Upper and Lower Body Exercises
Upper and Lower Body Exercises - These exercises use your own body weight to help strengthen muscles which are predominant in skiing. Perform the following exercises in sets of three with the suggested number of repetitions per set or until you feel the muscles tiring. Move steadily as you perform each exercise, i.e. count to 2 while rising up and count to 2 while lowering.
1 Knee Bends/Squats
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your toes pointing slightly outwards. Slowly bend at the ankle, knee and hip and lower yourself until your thighs are at a 45 degree angle to the floor. You do not need your thighs parallel with the floor. Keep your back straight and your shoulders over your toes. Look straight ahead or up to help keep your back straight. Slowly rise up until you are back in the standing start position. You should be balanced and steady throughout this movement. Repeat the movement 8 to 12 times. This exercise works the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and lower back.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Step forward 2 to 3 feet with your right foot. The heel of your left foot will be off the ground. From this starting position, slowly lower your body so your left knee drops towards the floor. Once you are as low as feels comfortable, slowly push up and return to the starting position. Keep your back straight and eyes straight ahead while doing this exercise. Repeat the movement 8 to 12 times per leg. Switch legs and repeat the entire exercise. This exercise strengthens the quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteal muscles.
3 Leg Extensions
Kneel on the floor. Place your hands in front of your body so your back is parallel with the floor. From this starting position, slowly raise and extend your right leg behind you, so your leg is parallel with the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat with the right leg 8 to 12 times. Switch legs and repeat the entire exercise.
4 Calf Raises
Stand on your toes on the edge of a step or a 4 inch raised platform. Slowly stand up onto your toes and then lower yourself so your heels are lower than your toes. Keep yourself balanced and steady by keeping your eyes straight ahead. Repeat the full motion 8 to 10 times.
Lie stomach down on the floor. Place your hands shoulder width apart and push your body upwards so your entire body is supported by your hands and your feet. From this starting position, slowly lower your body towards the ground and then raise yourself back to the starting position. Keep your back and legs in a straight line. (Note: If you have trouble with this exercise, try it by supporting your body with your knees rather than your feet.) Repeat the exercise 10 to 15 times.
6 Tricep Dips
Sit on the edge of a chair or bench. Place the heels of your hands on either side of your body. Walk your feet out from the chair, so your body is supported by your hands and heels. Slowly lower your butt towards the ground. When your elbows are bent at approximately 90 degrees, raise your body back to the starting position. This exercise strengthens the back of the upper arms - great for pushing and poling around the slopes! Repeat this exercise 8 to 12 times.
Having a strong stomach and lower back will help you to stay in balance when you are skiing. Do each of the following exercises in sets of three (i.e. 3 x 12 for crunches and twists, 3 x 10 for hip ups and supermans etc.). Move steadily as you perform each exercise, i.e. count to 2 while rising up and count to 2 while lowering.
1 Core crunches
Lie with your back on the floor and with bent knees so your feet rest flat on the floor. Your lower back must be firmly pressed into the floor and your chin tucked to your chest. With your hands folded on your chest or straight by your side, raise your shoulders off the ground, curling towards your knees, until your shoulder blades are free from the floor. Slowly lower your body to the starting position. Repeat 12 times or until your stomach muscles are tired.
Use the same starting position as with crunches, now twist and lower your knees to the right side of your body. Your feet will still be in line with your hips and head. Curl your head and shoulders up towards your feet. Slowly lower your shoulders to the starting position. Repeat 12 times then switch sides so your knees are on the left side of your body.
3 Hip ups
Lie with your back on the floor with your legs straight and raised up so your feet are pointing at the ceiling. Your arms should be at your side or folded on your stomach. Without rocking, raise your hips up off the floor. Your feet should continue to point at the same spot on the ceiling. You will only be able to raise your hips 1 to 3 inches from the floor. Slowly lower your hips to the starting position and repeat 10 time.
Lie stomach down on the floor with your arms extended above your head and your legs straight out behind you. Slowly raise your arms, head and shoulders off the floor. Keep your legs on the ground. You will only be able to raise your shoulders a few inches off the floor. Slowly lower yourself to the starting position. Repeat 10 times or until the muscles in your lower back are tired.
To help remove any lactic acid from the muscles, jog, bike or walk at a light pace for 5 minutes
Fitness routines created by Leslie Morgan(CSIA), a Level 4 Instructor with the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance, working currently at Whistler / Blackcomb resort. Leslie is also a member of the National Demo Team.
Consult your physician prior to undertaking any of these programs, if you have concerns whether these exercises are appropriate for you. Iglu.com Ltd. accepts no responsiblity for any accident or injury resulting from our fitness advice
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