Nothing beats ‘free-falling’at speed down the slopes other than doing it gracefully with control! I was amazed at how much changing my training routine and getting strong helped me keep up on my first ever ‘boyz’ holiday. Here are my go to exercises for everyone who is yet to attempt a black run this season…
I introduce a lot of Pilates exercises with this is my favourite, truth is they are all my favourite and Single Leg Stretch is no difference. There are lots of variations to this exercise but my preferred option for skiing prep is to lay on my mat in neutral spine, legs in table top and exhale to reach through my toes. It’s simple and effective I focus on activating my hamstrings and feeling my mid back work along with a deep activation through my lower abdominals. I focus on maintain neutral spine as I reach through my toes.
I would then keep working through those lower abdominals with a Double Leg Stretch, this time I slide my toes along the mat and then lift just for a different focus and feeling. I hold neutral through out for this and keep my head and shoulders relaxed (I prefer not to work in flexion for this as I like to engage through my back and can feel it more in neutral-that’s not to say you can’t though!)
I then like to Scissor. Big scissoring movements, really working into my core and stretching through my legs. It’s great to work from the hips like this and really work into your range of movement. I find limbering up like this makes everything more so much more freely.
If I’m feeling perky I add some twists to my scissors. Hands gently behind my head elbows wide and within my peripheral vision. I twist opposite elbow to knee. Those three or four exercises warm me up and switch on my core.
Single Leg Circles, I love! I like big movements for these (but move with control and precision, using centring to keep you stable) Circles are fabulous for hip mobility and a great way of saying hello to you stabilising muscles whilst letting that 6 pack of yours relax. I’d go for 6 each direction on each leg at a fair pace, the bigger the better but remember control!
From here Shoulder Bridge all the way, to fire up the hamstrings and glutes- strong legs are a must when hitting the slopes. Starting with a strong base will not only help you manoeuvre but aid your control and avoid injuries. Not to mention support your lower back. I love the way shoulder bridge stretches the lower back, I do it everyday because it feel so good. From here I’d add some foot work just to add a bit of depth and strength to what I’m doing.
Full body Stretch along my mat!
From here I’d roll on to my side and work into a Side Plank. I’d then do what I call threading the needle, to add a bit of the all important rotation-which you use constantly mountainside as you twist and turn.
Laying on my tummy, I go into a full Swan Dive activation through my back, opening my hips. Skiers hold a flexed position a lot and so extension is so important to realign the spine.
Then rolling onto my other side I’d complete my Side Plank and Needle Threading, this is absolutely brilliant for finding your obliques.
Then a Full Plank before rolling up, stretching the hamstrings as I go. It’s short, sharp and to the point. I wasn’t after anything too long or fancy with the ski prep just something to work my key areas.
A video like for how this all looks when it come together can be found on my Insta-profile and Facebook. Sorry to say I am not technical enough to upload footage to my website.
Enjoy guys, we did xx