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A ski trainer will tell you there are muscles that need to be focused on before the winter sport season. These include your leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings, calf muscles, and shins. You also have to do some knee exercises since knee injuries are one of the most common lower body injuries in skiing.
Below is an extensive list of exercises, courtesy of abc-of-skiing.com, to target the areas of your body used in skiing.
For outer and inner thighs:
Lie on your side. For your outer thigh, lift and lower your top leg with slightly bent knee. Then pulse it near the top of the range. Lift the top leg. With a flexed foot, bend and flex your knee. Afterwards, put it back on its original position.
For the inner thigh, bend the top leg with your knee forward and out of way. Then lift and lower your bottom leg.
These are the big leg muscles located in front of the thighs. You can work on quadriceps by doing several squats. This is the least complicated but the most effective exercise for quadriceps.
Opposite the quadriceps are the hamstrings. To strengthen hamstrings, lie on your abdomen and bend your knee so you flex your hamstrings. This exercise will be more effective if you put ankle weights after some repetitions.
For calf muscles:
Skiing involves forward leg pressure so it is important to strengthen and stretch your calf muscles. You can do some calf raises to avoid aching calf muscles in skiing. To do this strengthening exercise, stand flat on the ground, lift up to your toes, then lower your heels to the floor. You can do this with your feet in parallel position, with heels together and toes apart, and heels apart and toes together.
Likewise, you need to stretch your calf muscles. Stand around 18 inches from a wall. Reach and touch the wall with your hands to give you support. Move one foot as far back as you can while slowly pressing your heel against the ground. Hold the stretch. After this, do the same with your other foot.
Shins are particularly helpful when you tend to keep your weight way far back and you attempt to correct it by pulling forward with your shin muscles. You can strengthen your shins through this simple exercise: sit down and attach a light weight on your toes. Lift your toes and pull them toward you while maintaining your heels on the floor.
Do some squats with or without additional weights. You can likewise perform leg presses by first lying down, then lift your legs perpendicular to your body, and then push up against a platform.
Sit on a chair, and then lift your lower legs. Do this with or without ankle weights. You can also use a leg extension bench. Just sit down at one end of the bench and put both your feet under a weight bar. Bend and flex your legs to lift and lower the weights.
Be in a standing position. Step far back with your right leg while bending your front knee and your body weight slightly moving forward. Make sure that the forward knee does not extend beyond the foot. Do this exercise alternately and with or without weights.
Lie down on your stomach with your legs outstretched. After this, flex your lower legs toward your buttocks. You can do this exercise with or without weights. You can also make use of an apparatus to do leg curls. Just lie on your abdomen, position your ankles under the weight bar, and flex your legs toward your buttocks.
Aside from leg and knee exercises, make sure you also have training in strengthening your upper body. Some exercises include back stretch, chest and arm stretch, and shoulder stretch.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|