Winter Exercises….winter is the time to dust off the skis, snowboards and head to the snowcapped peaks for some outdoor adventure and exercise! One of the main reasons people try skiing and snowboarding but don’t pursue it as a hobby is the constant falling that must occur as part of the learning processes.
While falling on snow is a much more pleasant experience than cement, streets, sidewalks and sheer cliffs (found in other sports) falling makes many people disheartened and not want to continue. One of the best ways to minimize falling and continuously improve our balance is to work at it.
Even great snowboarders such as Shawn White exercise to maintain their great skill-level. Since these sports occur at high elevations, cardio is essential. At least 2 to 3 times a week there should be cardio exercises such as jogging, walking or bike riding. If you belong to a gym, there are many machines such as stairclimbers and rowers that also help certain muscle groups while improving cardio and endurance.
It is recommended to vary your activity so your body doesn’t adjust and stop progressing. A 45 minute jog could be followed at your next cardio session by an hour or 45 minutes on the stairclimber.
The next session might be a basketball game or bike ride, then return to the 45 minute job, this time trying to run faster. A lack of good cardio will leave you gasping for air on the mountain. When you do fall, getting back up will take a large amount of energy and you will be spending a great deal of time recovering, rather than riding and having fun.
Balance exercises on exercise balls are a great to develop the ability to shift your weight and stay upright. A personal trainer can guide you on specific methods an medicine ball can help in skill development. There are a wide variety of winter exercises sites or videos on YouTube that demonstrate proper form and application.
Most winter exercises start with the person with one knee on the ball and one leg on the ground, to help with balance. There are various movements that can be performed, some also with barbells or dumbbells. As the person progresses, both knees can go on the ball, then eventually, a person with great balance could stand on the ball and perform the winter exercises.
For those that want to develop larger muscles, weights and machines that target the legs, thighs and hamstrings are best. Traditional leg exercises such as squats and toe raises are tried and true techniques that will help avoid that “burn” felt when skiing or snowboarding and out of shape. Winter exercises for skiiers & snowboarding are a must to ensure your body is properly prepared for those formidable ski slopes.