IMPORTANCE OF LATERAL STRENGTH & AGILITY
Skiers are at risk for many types of injuries. In particular, ACL tears are very common. It’s therefore important to strengthen and condition your lower body muscles and joints in all ranges of motion to stabilize and support your knees, not to mention your hips and back. By training these muscles, you will experience:
- Fewer falls
- Ability to balance more efficiently
- Quicker reaction time
- Effective recoveries (especially from an icy patch!)
Additionally, skiing demands movements that target the inner and outer legs while engaging the core. I’ve designed a lateral strength and agility circuit specifically for Total Gym. All I ask is your willingness to take on the simple series of targeted exercises and commitment to execute these consistently over time, and you will benefit with increased lower body strength, balance, and sustained stamina, all while becoming less prone to getting injured during your next ski trip!
HIIT THE SLOPES WORKOUT
Prior to hitting the slopes this season, plan to condition your body with this lateral workout at least 3 weeks in advance to notice results. Continue to perform this workout post ski season by incorporating other exercises into the mix. This way, you will maintain your strengths gained and continue to improve your athletic skills for other activities.
- Perform this workout 2-3 times per week (pre-ski conditioning)
- Adjust the incline to challenge your strength appropriately
- Perform each exercise for 20 reps.
- Repeat 3 sets, then move on to the workout circuit.
Lateral Strength & Agility Circuit:
- Perform each strength exercise and drill for 10-20 reps/ side. (You may choose to time 30-45 seconds for each agility drill.)
- Perform each circuit twice, with the second set being the other side, then move to the next circuit drill.
- Repeat the entire circuit as your schedule permits.
- Hold each stretch for 10-30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
NOTE: GB = Glide Board
Performing a proper warm-up is one of the most important parts of every athlete’s training. A dynamic warm-up activates muscles in all ranges of motion and prepares them for the workout ahead.
Here are some dynamic exercises that will wake-up your cardiovascular system, lateral muscles, and balance skills.
Cardio: Side-Side Skaters
Goal: Conditions lateral strength, mobility of the hips, lateral speed and power.
Strength: Lunge Drops
Goal: Conditions strength, power, and rebounding after landing a jump! Plus, it will make moguls safer and easier.
Balance: Straight Leg Toe Touches
Goal: Develops hamstring strength and balance, which is the main stabilizer for your ACLs. Strong hamstrings will ‘pull’ your body into a safer position when the knee is tweaked in a bad position.
LATERAL STRENGTH & AGILITY CIRCUIT
Reminder: This workout alternates strength and agility moves. Perform each circuit twice, with the second set being the other side, then move on to the next circuit drills.
- Circle Squat
- Plie Slides
- Reverse Lunge
- GB Plank Hops
- Curtsey Lunge
- Crossover Taps (develops knee join strength)
*Cable NOT Connected
- Single Leg Squat
- Slalom Hops
- Side Kneeling Punches
- Leap Overs
*REPEAT CIRCUIT AS MANY TIMES AS YOUR WORKOUT SCHEDULE PERMITS*
End your workout with a series of stretches to lengthen the muscles worked and to prevent injury. Hold each stretch for 10-30 seconds or longer.
Runners Lunge & Twist
Goal: Lengthens quads, opens hips flexors, rotates the torso
Dynamic Hamstring Stretch
Goal: Mobility of the hip joint, lengthens hamstring and calf
Seated Figure 4
Goal: Hip opener, outer/ inner thigh stretch
Seated Torso Rotation
Goal: Rotates the torso and stretches the spine.
Goal: Opens up the shoulders, chest, and core muscles.
*Check out the video to learn how to perform these ‘lateral moves’ on your Total Gym
Train hard so you can hit the slopes hard. After a ‘good run’, warm-up with a toasty, hot chocolate by a fireside and admire your hard work.
Stay tuned for more blogs containing ‘advanced exercises for skiers and snowboarders’ who want to increase core strength, power, and take their skills to the next level!
Cheers to your skills and to your best ski season yet.