5 Simple Exercises to Get You Fit for the Snow Season!
By: Sam Folbigg (BPhysio - Honors Class 1, APAM)
Winter is Coming...and it’s time to start shredding!
Getting the right preparation not only helps prevent muscle soreness and injury, but also allows you to go longer, go faster and focus on the scenery rather than on your burning legs.
If you’re like me, the extent of your snow season preparation only involves checking if you washed your snowboarding socks last year.
The morning of day 1 goes okay, a few falls until you find your feet, feeling the burn by the afternoon, and settling in for the night with a few après.
Waking up on Day 2 feels like you’ve been hit by a truck.
Day 3 is worse.
And the rest of the week is spent nursing your body and realising you’re less of a Shaun White and more of a Shaun of the Dead.
So if you want to make the most of this dumping snow, here’s some bang for your buck exercises to get you fit and ready this snow season. And the best part...they can be all done in the warmth and comfort of your lounge room.
Snow Exercise - Wall Squat.
Your average ski run in Australia is about 5 minutes. If you can hold this wall squat for 5 minutes, heading downhill will be a dream.
Lean against the wall, place your feet out in front of you and slightly wider than your hips. Lower down until your knees are as close to 90 degrees as you can get them and hold for as long as you can.
2. Snow Exercise - Bulgarian Split Squats.
Place one foot way out in front of you. Place your other foot behind you & up on the lounge. Slowly lower your back knee towards the floor, making sure your front knee is behind your front foot, and push up again.Try slowing it down and holding this position at the bottom.
To add in core and balance exercises, whilst in the dip phase, hold your arms out by your side and slowly twist to one side, hold and twist to the other side.
3. Snow Exercise - Press Up/Burpee/Jump Squats.
For those learning to ski or snowboard, or for those wanting to dive in to some sweet pow, don’t neglect your arms.
This one will work everything; arms, legs, core and kickstart that cardiovascular fitness to keep you going all day. Plus you can throw in a bit of air time while you’re up there.
Jump down into the plank position, perform a push up, hop your feet in under you, drive up through your squat, jump into the air, land and repeat.
4. Snow Exercise - Single Leg Calf Raises
Get your calf muscles nice and strong with some single leg calf raises. You can do these off a step for a bigger range of movement.
To add in some balance and ankle stability try lightening your hand hold and challenge your balance whilst performing these.
5. Snow Exercise - Heel Walking
Every time I head to the snow, I’m quickly reminded that I own a set of tibialis anterior and peroneal muscles. These muscles are very much taken for granted, but when they are working all day keeping your feet up and pressing up in to your boots, they soon let you know.
Try walking lengths of your hallway on your heels. This works the front of your shins, the ankle stabilisers and challenges your balance.
Remember: Break yourself in gently if you’re new to exercise and check with your physiotherapist first if you have any health concerns or pre-existing injuries.
If you need some more guidance, contact your local physiotherapist, so that they can address any underlying issues and help you get the most out of your ski pass.