How many of you go skiing? Snowboarding? Ice Skating?
Winter weather inspires us to try new sports or dust off the old equipment and get on those skis again. We tend to plan for the ski trips or outings, but not from a physical standpoint… and that may be asking for unwanted injuries.
This is common sense, but sometimes we all need to be reminded. I’ve had a personal experience where I jumped back into volleyball without much of a warm up (let alone training) after a long-ish break and ended up with a torn ACL. I’ve also had the opposite experience, when I trained for surf camp (which you should totally check out! Surf with Amigas) and felt strong and capable, even though I had no prior surfing experience.
Although we’re not all professional athletes, there are some simple steps we can take to be more confident as we tackle winter sports on the mountains or ice. Additionally, this gives us a nice goal to focus on during the month of December, which is traditionally challenging on workout schedules.
Here are three key areas to consider:
1- Core stability – All movement requires core stability and strength, but make sure you try something different from your regular routine. For snowboarding, skiing, or ice skating; focus on including exercises that target your deep stabilizer muscles, as well as your obliques. Try russian twists, burpees, and back extensions.
2- Lower body strength – Winter sports tend to work the lower body a lot. Focus on a variety of lower body exercises targeting your glutes, hamstrings, and quads including squats, deadlifts, and single leg movements.
3- Cardiovascular conditioning – You don’t want to run out of steam one hour into your session on the mountain, so get some cardiovascular training in. A mixture of intervals and longer runs should get your cardio base ready.
Here is a workout that I like to follow once a week (in addition to my other activities) one month before we hit the slopes (ProRide Snowboard Camps), which only requires your bodyweight and a timer for first-timers. Also, if you are feeling stronger, you can work up to three rounds. There are progressions if you are intermediate or advanced or have access to more equipment. Also, feel free to substitute another exercise that still targets the same muscle groups.
For example instead of back extensions, you could do bird/dog
or if you prefer more movement, you can take a page from TRX Training and do inverted rows (which also challenge your core). Another exercise I’ve been working on is the TRX single-leg squat, which I subbed in for the single-leg stand up. *Be smart, you know your body, so if you have any conditions or injuries, make the necessary modifications or ask a fitness professional first.
And finally, think about a couple of warm up exercises YOUR body needs in the morning before you get your gear on. I like to do a few core exercises including clam shells, glute bridges and some pilates moves inspired from PILATES Anatomy that have become my go to when I travel.
Contact me with any questions or feedback. Enjoy your winter vacations, stay hydrated and remember to stretch and roll!