Our New Year's Resolution? Ski Harder, Hurt Less!
With as much great skiing as Telluride has to offer, we all want to maximize our time on the mountain. So for this year's ski vacation, prepare with a quick 3-minute work out that will help you rule the mountain this ski season! (provided by Men's Health Magazine. )
A day on the mountain is all fun and games until you wake up the next morning so sore you can’t walk. Know this feeling? We thought so. That’s why we caught up with former competitive alpine skier Ed Laskowski, M.D., co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center. “At Mayo we have a saying that you shouldn’t play your sport to be in shape, you should be in shape to play your sport,” he says. If you have a mountain vacay booked, here are a few moves to add to your workout 3 to 4 times a week.
Three 1-Minute Spurts of Side-to-Side Jumps Skiing and riding involve side to side weight shifting moves—a little obvious, sure—but people can get injured in part because they don’t prepare for the side-to-side motion, says Laskowski. “There’s a lot of weight shifting—you’re using muscle groups in a way that your body isn’t used to. Even if you have strong quads, skiing and snowboarding will move your muscles differently than most sports will.” The fix? Get your muscles used to the movement.
Use a low bench or a line of tape on the ground and jump from side to side over it with for minute long bursts and repeat. Start with a single leg hop, switching feet, and vary it with double leg hops landing one foot after the other. The motion mirrors what you’ll be doing on the slopes and will familiarize your hip, thigh, and lower leg muscles with the movements.
One Minute of Single Leg Exercises Avoid a yard sale on the mountain (and the pain that comes with it) by taking an exercise you’d normal do—bicep curls, for instance—and doing it on one leg instead of two. Practicing balance won’t just keep you on your feet—it’ll help keep you injury free, says Laskowski. If you’ve never done it before, try using lower weights to start off since your base isn’t as stable.
One Minute of Catch on a Stability Ball Your core is a big part of turning your body on the hill, Laskowski says. When it’s weak, you’ll end up relying too much on back, leg, or arm muscles to compensate. Think of a weak core as a weak link is a chain—if you tug on the chain, it’ll give right at the weak link. Strengthen it off the slopes by tossing a ball back and forth with a buddy while seated on a stability ball. Make sure your stomach muscles are tight and you are seated upright. For a higher-level challenge, try playing catch while standing on one leg or, if you can do it, on an unstable platform such as a foam square or Bosu ball.