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
Use free weights or exercise equipment to perform the following exercises.
The amount of weight used in each exercise must be determined by each individual. The muscles should feel fatigued at the completion of each set, but not so exhausted that you are shaking or unable to complete the next set. Perform the following exercises in sets of three with the suggested number of repetitions per set or until you feel the muscles tiring. Rest one minute between sets. Move steadily as you perform each exercise, i.e. count to 2 while raising the weight and count to 3 while lowering.
Use free weights, either a barbell or dumbbells in each hand for this exercise. 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.
2 Leg Press
Use a seated leg/quad press machine or an incline leg/quad press machine for this exercise. Follow the instructions for the machine. The leg press should be from approximately a 45 degree bend to just shy of a full extension of the leg. Do not bend your knees past 90 degrees. Repeat the leg press 8 to 10 times. This exercise works strengthens the quadriceps and hamstrings.
3 Hamstring Curl
Use the hamstring curl machine for this exercise or use leg weights wrapped around your ankles. If you are using a machine, make sure your knees line up with the hinge. With free weights, lie stomach down and slowly raise one leg towards the buttocks. Repeat 8 to 12 times. This exercise strengthens the hamstring muscles.
4 Calf Raises
Use the calf raise machine or a step or bench. If you are using the machine, follow the instructions. With a step or bench, hold dumbbells in both hands and stand on the balls of your feet on the edge of the bench. Slowly raise and lower yourself, keeping your back and legs straight. Look straight ahead to help keep you balanced. Repeat 8 to 12 times.
5 Lateral Pull Downs
This exercise requires a machine. Start with your hands shoulder width or farther apart. Slowly pull the bar towards your shoulders and chest. Once the bar is level with your shoulders, slowly extend your arms until almost fully straight. Keep your back vertical and straight throughout the exercise. Repeat 8 to 10 times. This exercise strengthens your arms, shoulders and upper back.
6 Bike Pulls
This exercise requires an exercise bench and dumbbells. The exercise bench should be approximately even with your knees. Place your left knee and left arm on the bench, so your back is parallel with the bench. Your right leg is on the floor directly below your hips and your right arm is hanging directly below your right shoulder. With a dumbbell in your right hand, slowly pull/raise your hand towards your right shoulder. Your elbow will be bent and above your back. Slowly lower your right arm back towards the floor. Keep your back parallel with the floor at all times. Repeat the exercise 8 to 12 times and then switch sides and arms. This exercise strengthens the triceps and biceps.
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 after completing the above exercises.
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