Prepare For Skiing This Winter: Part Two
Harri Bennett, chalet host for Morgan Jupe and professional personal trainer, shares some of her top tips for preparing your body for skiing this winter …
Lunges work several muscles at once, making them a compound exercise. Targeting the quadriceps, hamstrings (thighs), glutes (buttocks) and core they are a great all round pre-trip exercise which can be done anywhere.
The lunge is a basic movement which can be performed by those of all levels. Beginners should start with body weight (no added weight) and then begin to increase the difficulty by adding weight as you progress. Dumbells, kettlebells and barbells can all be used to increase the weight and difficulty of the movement.
- Keep your upper body straight, shoulders back, chin up, look ahead and engage your core;
- Step forward with one leg and lower your back knee towards the floor so that both knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. Your front knee should be directly above ankle and your back knee should be just hovering above the floor;
- Keep your weight in your heels as you push back up to starting position.
Once you feel you have the basic movement mastered you can mix things up by making this exercise anaerobic, whilst also getting your heart pumping. Jumping lunges help to increase the explosive power in the lower body.
- At the bottom of the lunge, jump explosively off the ground, switching the position of your legs whilst in mid air, landing in the lunge position with the opposite leg forward.
Our glute muscles often become weaker in our everyday modern lives. Desk jobs and lack of activity can lead to imbalances in the muscles, which is not ideal as our glutes are used heavily in skiing and snowboarding.
- Lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet flat, keep your arms at your side with palms down;
- Lift your hips off the floor until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line;
- Squeeze your glutes as hard as you can, keeping your abs pulled in tight and hold.
If you feel you are loosing form quickly or want to mix things up try pulsing in this position (from the top position, lower your bum down towards the floor without letting it touch, then squeeze your glutes as you drive your hips back up). Once you feel comfortable holding the standard glute bridge position for 1 minute, challenge yourself further by removing one foot from the floor and holding a single leg glute bridge. A glute bridge needs only body weight to be effective but extra weight can be added to increase the difficulty of the exercise; try holding a kettlebell, dumbbell or weight plate across your hips.
Stay tuned for part three, coming up next week …
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