Get in Shape for Ski Season

Winter has arrived!  With storms, cold fronts, and El Nino; it’s inevitable that ski season in Tahoe is going to be excellent this year. Whether you frequent the black diamonds or hop on the bunny hill, staying nimble and in shape will help prevent injuries this winter.

Studies show that roughly three in 1,000 ski days will include a knee injury. Of those, one in three is ACL related. That means on a typical resort day — with somewhere around 15 to 17,000 ski visits — as many as 17 skiers’ seasons could potentially come to an end with ACL injuries.

Conditioning and knowing your limits are going to be key when it comes to staying fresh this ski season. Stay in shape and get ready to head up the hill with these six quick work out recommendations from Jeremy Vandehurst at Barton Health. Via The Sierra Sun

1. SINGLE LEG TOE TOUCH: From a standing position lift one leg back. Flex the knee on the other leg while reaching to touch your toe. When standing on your right leg reach toward your toe with your left hand and vice versa.

2. THE WALL SIT: The goal of this exercise is to create a seated position without a chair by leaning up against a wall. With legs apart and back against a wall, try dropping to a seated position. This exercise can be done with varying degrees of difficulty. Those less conditioned to the position may want to start with a not fully seated position and gradually work toward it. Hold the position as long as you can and gradually add time with future repetitions. You should be able to lift your toes while holding the position. This exercise is good for quads, hamstrings and endurance.

3. LEG LUNGES: From a standing position drop forward into a lunge position — one leg flexed with the knee close to a 90-degree angle and the other leg back. Unlike the above single-leg toe touch, arms should be at one’s side and both feet should be touching the ground — one flat-footed, the other with toes pointed backwards.

4. SINGLE LEG BALANCE: To help build balance skills, it’s good to work on standing on one leg, slightly flexed — with the other leg slightly behind. To add challenge to this exercise, close your eyes, or add in other motions. This can be done while doing other household activities.

5. THE BRIDGE: For additional strength building and core conditioning, start by laying down on your back with both feet planted flat on the floor. Then thrust your hips into air so that only feet and shoulders are touching the ground. Hold the position for as long as you can and repeat. Building core muscles helps with ski endurance.

6. SQUAT JUMPS: For building strength for mogul skiing and jumping, consider squat jumps. Vandehurst recommended this as more of an advanced exercise not necessarily geared toward all ability levels. With both feet apart and flat on the floor, flex into a squat position and jump. Try to land on your toes. Vandehurst said to repeat the exercise while maintaining consistent jump height. Jumps can either be straight up and down, forward or backward. To add challenge, include things to jump over or onto. This will help build leg strength.

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