The beauty of the iSports training program is that once you learn to do the movements correctly, you can do many of them in a home gym since they don’t require specialized weights or fitness machines. Here are five movements that will strengthen the muscles you use skiing or riding. Doing these for five weeks pre-season will not only make your skiing better (and help eliminate that early-season burn) but will also help prevent injuries.
1) Bent Knee Side Step with a Mini Band
Skiers and other athletes use this movement to strengthen their hips (gluteals) and quadriceps. To do this correctly, you should push down through your feet with each step. This will fire the quads, glutes, and hamstrings and increase stability. Keep your toes pointed forward. Use arm action, as if you are walking sideways, to coordinate the move. Do two side steps to the right, then two to the left and repeat three times. Do one or two sets.
2) Single Leg, Multi-Touch
We often have one leg or side that’s weaker and when you ski or ride, you can favor that side. A better approach is to strengthen your legs individually. This movement will help you develop balance and strengthen each of your legs. The key is to stand on one leg, with your other stretched back behind you, and then simultaneously flex at the ankle, knee, and hip as you lower your body and touch the floor with your hand. Use your quads, hamstrings, and glutes throughout the movement. One rep involves touching the floor in three places: on the left side, in front and then the right side. Do four reps for each leg, and try for two to four sets.
3) Bulgarian Split Squat
This movement can also help overcome any favored side and can be used to strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteals. Squat on one leg, with the other leg resting on a bench. Performing the exercise on a single leg increases stability by firing your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Do six to twelve reps for each leg and then two to four sets.
4) Side Lunge
This movement is used to strengthen the gluteals, the hamstrings, and the quadriceps. It also trains your body to handle lateral movements, like the quick turns you might make through the trees. Step directly to the side, step on your mid-foot, then quickly transfer weight to your heel as you lunge. 8-12 reps each leg, 2-4 sets.
5) Resistance Cord Side Rotations
This movement uses a ski specific position to develop strength in the legs, abdomen, back, and shoulders while connecting the lower and upper halves of the body. Stand sideways to the cord. Take a “ski stance.” Push into the ground with your feet, anchoring your legs as you pull the cord across your body. Return to the start position with control. Do five to twelve reps per side, and two to four sets.
6) Side Plank
This movement strengthens your abdominals and gluteals, while also strengthening the muscles in your shoulders. Rest your body weight on your elbow and the side of your foot. Keep your side up and your body in a straight line. Hold for 20-90 seconds each side. Do two to four sets.