Off-Season Training: 5 Great Exercises to Prepare for the Winter
With winter right around the corner, now is a great time to get your body in shape for the upcoming season. Skiing can be a dangerous sport and sometimes the proper off-season training can help prevent your body from incurring injuries. This is why I find myself working just as hard in the summer and fall as in the winter in order to build up my muscles and joints so that my body is better prepared to take the inevitable hits that skiing will dish out. Here are five exercises that I do to prepare myself for the season:
1.) Bike riding: Riding your bike is one of the greatest things you can do for your body because unlike running, it has low-impact on the joints. As a result, getting on the bike 3 to 4 times a week will help build the leg muscles around your knees as well as strengthen your knee and ankle joints. Tearing an ACL is a very common and serious injury in skiing, so it is important that you build up the muscles that surround your knee to reduce the chance of having an injury like this happen to you.
2.) Core and back exercises: Your core and back are both an essential part to skiing. One of my favorite exercises to do is leg lifts because unlike curls it does not require the back to arch which can result in rounding of your vertebrae. As for the back, back raises are always a good choice as long as you make sure that you keep your back straight and only bend at the waist.
3.) Shoulder exercises: Many people don’t understand why you would need to workout your shoulders for skiing when they are hardly used, but I strengthen my shoulder muscles in order to help prevent injury. The fact is that in skiing you will fall and a common injury that will occur is to the shoulder. Therefore, the stronger the muscles are that connect your shoulder, then the less chance you will have of separating or dislocating it. This is why I began to use Theraband heavy resistance physical therapy bands. These things are great because they use resistance to help strengthen the shoulder joint which will end up saving you when you do take a big fall.
4.) Stretching: Stretching is one of the best things you can do on the off-season to prepare yourself to ski. The more flexible you become, the less prone you will be to injury. If possible, I would definitely recommend that you start taking yoga classes as they not only help to increase your flexibility and build your joints, but they teach you how to breath properly which can be very important when dropping into a line or a run for a competition.
5.) Swimming: Swimming is an all around great workout for the body as it works almost every muscle and has no impact on the joints. Another plus to swimming is that it will help build up your cardio, which is another crucial part of skiing. Whether you are simply trying to hike to the next best line or need the endurance to ski a full line without stopping, swimming can be a great help in reaching the level of cardio that you wish to achieve.
Please feel free to comment and add any exercises that you do in your off-season routine to prepare yourself for the upcoming season.