We know it is already here and likely you have already hit the slopes and trails, but it is never too late to add some conditioning exercises to help your knees get strong and resilient for the challenges you are throwing at them out there.
Whether you ski, snowshoe, snowboard, or any other winter sport, specific muscle groups tend to take the increased challenges that snow and ice throw your way.
- Stretching: This is critical to keep your muscles flexible and loose and prevent injuries. Stretch when you are warmed up, not cold, otherwise you risk pulled or even torn muscles. This is known as dynamic stretching. After warming up, stretch in gentle pulses, allowing you to push the stretch more.
- Quads: These are the four muscles on the front of the thigh, and considered the most important muscles to keep your knees stable and strong. Do Swiss ball squats against a wall and also quad extensions.
- Knees: Adductor and Abductor exercises are critical in maintaining lower body balance, something needed in every winter snow sport.
- Lateral Movement: Training this way challenges balance and all the above muscles and trains your body to react to challenging terrain and slopes, and build your explosive power.
- Step-up exercises: Use a platform such as a sturdy stool or a balance board to do step ups and challenge your coordination and balance while building key leg muscles such as your quads and glutes.
- Bosu ball: This will work on balance and coordination. This Bosu ball list of exercises has endless ideas, but focus especially on the front, back and side lunges.
- Core: This is obviously working on your key abdominal muscles, but don’t forget your back muscles, as they are equally important to maintaining a healthy core which is needed in winter sports. Oblique Twists are great for this and there are many variations to challenge yourself.
- More stretching: We really cannot say enough that you must not skip regular stretching for injury prevention. Here is a great pre and post ski stretching routine to get you safely through the season and beyond.
These are a great place to start to get you ready and keep you injury free during your winter adventures. Start today!
Featured photo source: Pixabay.com