Hit the Slopes!

by - 9:57 AM

I don't know about you, but my newsfeed has been dominated lately with pictures of snow-capped mountains, chairlift closeups and apres activities, which means one thing - ski season is officially here!

source

I'm heading out to Park City in a few weeks to tackle my first snow of the season, which inspired this week's post. I love skiing as a winter workout - did you know the average person can burn between 300-600 calories in just one hour of downhill skiing? That makes those apres beers taste that much better.

Skiing also takes a huge toll on your body - especially muscle groups that you may not be used to working as much when running or playing other sports. After my 3rd day on the slopes, I'm usually beat but have found I am able to pretty much ski all day without getting too tired, and I found myself asking why?

I've noticed the years I can ski the longest also happen to be the years I am doing a ton of yoga in the winter. Based on this, I've put together my Top Pre-Ski Workouts which focus on three main areas:

Top 3 Ski Strengtheners

Quads / Balance / Core

Quads


One of the biggest muscle groups that get worked during skiing are in your legs, most notably your quadriceps. Going down a long run, especially if you are skiing powder, will fire up your thighs like nobody's business. Practice holding moves to isolate and strengthen this area can help increase muscle endurance to prepare your legs for a long day on the slopes.

One of the best yoga poses for this is chair pose. It is probably my least favorite pose to hold in yoga, but is definitely the best for isolating this muscle group.

How To:


Stand with your feet and legs together. Begin to bend your knees and sink your hips down and back as if you were sitting in a chair far behind you. Hold for 20 seconds.


Bring your palms together in front of your chest. Rotate your spine to bring your right elbow to your left knee. Try to keep your chest lifted the whole time. 


Hold for 30 to 45 seconds and then repeat on the other side. (source) Repeat series 3x.

Balance

Skiing and snowboarding both require a ton of balance. One of the best ways to mimic this "forward balance" is doing forward-leaning exercises with resistance bands or in a Pilates Tower class. If neither of these sounds like your thing, working on basic balance with Tree Pose is a great alternative.

How To: 

Stand feet together, and pick a point on the wall to focus on. Shift your weight slightly onto your left foot, keeping your inner foot firm to the floor, and bend your right knee. Reach down with your right hand and clasp your right ankle.



Draw your right foot up and place the sole against the inner left calve or thigh, avoiding the knee. Breathe and focus your energy on your core. 

Hold hands together at your heart center in prayer pose, or extend arms over your head for more of a challenge.  Close your eyes for even more of a challenge. Repeat 2x on both sides.

Core

I love core work. It is my fave, I can't get enough of it and it is so essential for your balance and making tight turns on the hill. Here is a quick ab-blaster workout to add to your pre-ski routine.

Ski Bunny Ab-Blaster Workout

  1. Leg Pulls
  2. High Boat/Low Boat
  3. Plank Up & Downs
  4. Extended Plank

Lay flat on the floor, legs extended. Extend your heart up and forward to grab your right leg. Hold for 5 seconds and switch. 


Hold/Switch for 1 minute continuously.

High Boat/Low Boat

After your last switch, extend both legs forward and over. Extend arms along your sides. (this is "low boat")


Using your core, sit up into "high boat", balancing with legs extended or using your arms behind your legs for support.


Hold for 10 seconds, then dip to low boat without falling onto your shoulders.
Repeat 5x.

Plank Up & Downs
Roll over to your stomach and press up into plank pose. 


Lower yourself down to your forearms, one at a time. Hold for 5 seconds and press back up.


Repeat 5x

Extended Plank

Extend your left leg long behind you. Hold 5 seconds, set it down & switch.


Next time, extend your left leg behind you and your right arm in front of you (try not to fall!) Hold 5 seconds and switch.

Extra Challenge:
Isolated plank pose for 60 seconds.

Ski Bunny Ab Blaster Workout

Top: Lululemon Power Up Tank in Burning Yellow / Pants: Lululemon Skinny Will Pant in heathered black

Hope this helps you tackle those black diamonds! Remember to always hydrate on the mountain, especially in super-high altitude ski areas like Colorado. What are some of your favorite places to ski?

Xo,
Kat


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3 comments

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