Four Exercises to Prepare for the Ski Season
With ski season underway many athletes are excited to add skiing and snowboarding to their routines. But even the most fit runners benefit from ski-centric prep work before hitting the slopes. Below are four ski-prep exercises from former NCAA Division 1 All American ski racer Mike Cremeno, Chief Marketing Officer at Ski Butlers.
Story by John Brice
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down so your thighs are parallel to the floor, then jump high in the air. Try to land softly on your feet. This develops explosiveness in the quads and glutes -necessary to ski fast and push hard out of your turns.
2. Medicine Ball Throws
This exercise requires a partner or solid wall to bounce the ball off of. Start in the sit up position with your partner standing on your feet. With your back on the ground as if you were about to start a sit up, lunge forward throwing the medicine ball up to your partner. Stay upright and have your partner gently throw the ball back to you -ideally with your arms fully extended. Control the ball coming down all the way to the start position and repeat 8-12 times per set and do 3 sets. This exercise develops a lot of important muscles, but primarily focuses on your core which will allow for more fluid movement and connecting the upper and lower body while skiing. If you can do each of these exercises even a few times before your first day, you will see a dramatic difference in your ability to ski all day right from the start.
3. Romanian Deadlift
Grab a dumbbell (start light and increase the weight as you start understanding the movement). Bend your knees slightly, keeping your back straight, then lean forward with the barbell, hinging at the hips. Push your hips forward and return to a standing position. By building the hamstrings, you help stabilize the knee joint, thus preventing ACL injuries.
4. Backwards Treadmill Walk
Start walking very slowly on the treadmill at 2-3 miles per hour. Increase the incline as high as it goes. Carefully, turn around so you’re facing backwards—your toes should be pointing toward the end of the belt, like you’re walking backwards uphill. Drop to a squat as you walk, so that your knees are at nearly 90 degrees—similar to skiing in a tuck position. This builds strength endurance in the quads and glutes, building up lactic acid threshold - allowing for longer, harder skiing.