Core, Strength and Recovery
Snow Sports Training
WAC personal trainers Darrick Kung and Laura Heydrich demonstrate exercises great for preparing for the snow sports season. Increase your core strength and recover efficiently with these moves. Start now and you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you hit the slopes this winter.
Improve your core
It’s hard to beat a basic plank position to improve your core connection. Improving your core will help you pivot and move efficiently using the proper muscle groups. Variations on a standard plank can increase your kinesthetic awareness and improve stability—critical on the slopes.
Balance on your outer forearms with your gaze directed to the ground. Extend your legs behind you and plant your toes. Engage your core and press into the mat to raise your body off the ground. Hold the position for 20 seconds. Challenge yourself by trying to hold your plank for as long as possible without compromising form or breath.
Bird dog variation
If you’re not ready to do a plank yet, try the bird dog exercise, a classic core exercise that emphasizes lower back strength and balance. Begin in a tabletop position with hands and knees firmly planted. Raise your right arm and reach it forward while you kick your left leg backward until it is straight. Hold this position for three seconds before returning to the mat. Switch sides. Graduate to a harder version by extending the same side arm and leg. This improves stability, engages your core, and prepares you to do a classic plank.
Aide in your body’s recovery with stretching. An important stretch for snowboarders and skiers is the piriformis stretch. This exercise stretches the muscle that runs from your spine to the thighbone, a key player for ripping it in the snow.
Piriformis stretch and variation
Lie flat on the floor with arms at your side and palms down. Position yourself with your feet on the ground and knees bent. Lift your right leg and place the ankle on the opposite knee. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat to stretch the muscle.
To increase the difficulty of a piriformis stretch, invert yourself by placing your feet on a wall, keeping your knees bent. At that angle, rest one ankle against the opposite knee just as you did in the sitting position. Move closer to the wall for greater back support.
—Discover more strength and balance exercises for snow sports. Check out our Getting Fit blog post from the November/December issue of WAC Magazine. Also, learn about the importance of targeted training and how it can help you succeed at your favorite sport.
—Posted October 21, 2016