Wondering what you can do to be ready for skiing or snowboarding? As the season gets underway, many of us are now thinking about what we can do to make the transition easier on our bodies.
Whether you’re a pro and you work on the mountain, or a first-timer considering lessons, there are a few things you should be doing to prep your body to enhance safety and performance.
- Strengthen your legs, specifically your hip and core muscles. Focus on exercises that are in a standing position, similar to the position you’ll be in as a skier or snowboarder. Squats and lunges are good staples.
- Practice weight-shifting and balancing. Being able to shift your weight from one leg to another is key for smooth control on the snow. Balance exercises help to improve your control, alignment, and body awareness. These activities will also help train you for preventing knee injuries, including the most common – the ACL tear (anterior cruciate ligament in the knee).
- Incorporate agility exercises, which should include hopping and quick changes in direction, to mimic the back-and-forth movements for carving down the mountain. Being able to quickly hop side-to-side or swiftly turn in a different direction will make you more agile, controlled, and confident on skis or a board. Not only will this make for a more enjoyable slide, but it will protect your knees from injury.
- Learn a good flexibility and range of motion routine. When your joints and muscles have full mobility, you’ll have more freedom of movement and will be more resilient to awkward positions that you might encounter. Furthermore, full range of motion will protect your body from wear and tear, and sprains and strains.
A fantastic new program that has captured the attention of the ski industry this year is an interactive, online training program that guides skiers and boarders through a systematic progression of everything listed above. You’ll gain strength, balance, body control, agility, and flexibility – in just 20 minutes, 3 times per week, for a month. And you’ll protect your knees in the long-run.
This program, ACL Strong, is supported by the Professional Ski Instructors of America, the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI), National Ski Patrol, and several major ski resorts across the country. From the pros to the first-timers, this program trains participants for a safer and better season, so we can all continue doing what we love to do.
This is what some of our members said about the ACL Strong course…
“Feeling stronger this week and more agile! The ‘hopping the line’ exercise feels like skiing. I am very surprised how such a small amount of focused exercise is so effective. I’ve had a desk/computer job all summer and already with these exercises, I am feeling better!”
“There are so many exercises out there…it feels good to have a regimen specifically targeted at my knee(s), and also building core strength & agility.”
“This is my second year with the ACL Strong course. I exercise regularly at my local fitness club in town so it was easy to practice the routines. Using the BOSU is so much like skiing. I love that it reinforces a skiers athletic stance and provides feedback on balance. Learning to use the BOSU, the stretching strap, the resistance bands, the foam rollers, and the stream of body exercises (especially the jumping routines and my favorite lately, the bear crawl/walk) definitely improved my ski season endurance. Thanks ACL Strong!”
“I have bone on bone in my left knee. I have had 3 surgeries on it and am scheduled for replacement in April. At the beginning of the season I could barely walk in my boots and ski. My husband had to help me get my ski boot on that foot. I can now walk freely in my boots, ski and teach skiing. I can ski blues and blacks. and moguls. I have done PT and PT exercises for 3-4 years. Nothing has worked like your exercises. I could not at first hop at all. I can now gently do them without the support. I can also walk up and down stairs with alternating stepping. At the start I could not even do this with my metal uploader bace on. I am 69 years old and have been instructing and skiing for every season for 50 years. I am an an avid cyclist and am hoping these exercises will get me back to backpacking! Thank you and Monarch for keeping me doing the sports I love.”
If you’re looking for ways to get your body ready for skiing or snowboarding this season, be sure to work on strength, weight-shifting and balance, agility, and flexibility. Consider our ACL Strong Snow Course for an expert-guided step-by-step plan with the EXACT exercises that you need.
Wondering how to sign-up for ACL Strong? Click here to learn more.
Let’s do this!