Skiing might be a lot of fun, but it can be extremely tough on the body.
All that twisting and bending make a strong core and a powerful set of glutes essential if you want a safe and speedy run.
And if you don’t fancy sprawling in the snow every five minutes, great balance is key too.
Warren Smith, one Britain’s leading professional freeskiers and an internationally qualified performance coach, says that is warns that vital to start training for a ski holiday in advance. ‘There’s an intensely physical element to skiing,’ he warns. ‘People can get caught out if they don’t prepare.’
He recommends doing pilates or yoga to help build the necessary muscle memory and core stability.
Lots of skiers are now incorporating yoga into their training because the practice is a great way to improve your strength, endurance, flexibility and coordination on the slopes.
To help you get ready for the slopes, meditation and yoga teacher Aysha Bell has come up with four key poses that you can do at home to maximise your ski performance.
These are the moves to get practising these before the winter ski season comes around.
Warrior 1 pose
Aysha says: ‘This intermediate balancing yoga pose strengthens the whole back side of the body, including the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, ankles and back.’
Warren says: ‘When skiing you’re constantly swapping weight from left to right leg. This is great for skiers to develop independent leg strength, stability and balance.’
Aysha says: ‘These target all the muscles in your bottom – the gluteus maximus, medius and minimus– plus your hamstrings, which are the main muscles that make up the posterior chain. They can help improve lower back pain, knee and hip pain.’
Warren says: ‘This is perfect for skiers wanting to develop power and essential in counter-acting the forces the body endures. Having these muscles activated, even before you start skiing, will really help.’
Side plank with tree pose
Aysha says: ‘This advanced move will strengthen the core with a slight emphasis on the obliques, glutes and hip abductors. The movement also demands a high level of balance, stability, and coordination to perform so will help reduce risk of injury.’
Warren says: ‘A great move for side body strength when you angulate during your ski turns. The abductor work will develop the muscles that help you ski with symmetrical legs and lateral control, helping to avoid the classic A-Frame stance issues.’
Warrior 2 pose
Aysha says: ‘A standing yoga posture that stretches the shoulder, chest, and groin, and builds strength in the legs, torso, and spine. It develops good balance and stability while improving circulation and respiration.’
Warren says: ‘Excellent for balance and stability of the legs independently. It works for both the flexion and extension (up and down) axis and also the lateral control axis of the legs, which will protect the knee joint.’
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