Now is the Time to Begin Ski or Snowboard Training

 Now is the time to begin ski or snowboard training. If you are a skier or boarder, and want to have a successful, injury free 2019 season, now is the perfect time to start getting in shape for it. What should you do? Well, squats, squats more squats oh, and some lunges. If you are also a cyclist who has been doing some serious cycling this summer you are already on your way to getting in shape for skiing or boarding. The cardio and leg work from cycling really gets the legs ready for those winter sports, especially if you look for some serious hills when you are on your bike.
     The “wall sit” is an excellent skiers exercise. Put your shoulders against a wall and place your feet about 16 inches away. Slide down the wall until your knees are at a 90 degree angle. Adjust the foot position out from the wall if the knees are uncomfortable. Hold that sitting position as long as possible. You can add dumbbells to your hands to increase the workload. Bicep curls or front shoulder raises with the dumbbells while you sit on the wall can certainly be added.
     A variation of the wall sit, the “ball sideways to the wall squat” is also an excellent ski exercise. Put your hip against a stability ball that is against a wall so that your feet are on a slight angle and you are leaning into the ball. Lift the leg closest to the ball then flex and extend the leg on the floor, going as deep as possible without knee discomfort. Keep most of your weight into your heel of the foot on the floor, especially if there is knee discomfort. Add a dumbbell to the one hand to increase the workload. This is a great exercise as it trains each leg separately. If one is weaker than the other it will catch up eventually.
    Any exercise that strengthens around the knee and hip joints will benefit. “Clams” are excellent for strengthening the hip. Try them in a side plank position to benefit the core muscles. Injuries usually occur in the areas of the body that are weak. Don’t discount the lesser used areas. The more you can do to strengthen smaller muscles and connective tissue around the joints the better. Fitness tools such as a BOSU, stability ball or a rocker board are excellent for strengthening the small muscles in the ankles, knees and hips. These tools also train your balance which, if good, will help prevent injury. Maintain good flexibility about these joints as well. Work on improving or maintaining good joint mobility. Need help with strength or flexibility? Contact a personal trainer, especially to help with correct technique. Sometimes accidents happen and injuries occur when you are participating in these somewhat challenging activities, but the fitter you are, the less chance of severe injury and the greater the chance of a speedy recovery. Think snow and get in shape for it now.