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Get Ski and Snowboard Fit

Is your Body ready for winter?

The snow has fallen here in the Southern Alps of New Zealand but are you ready to get back on the Skis or Snowboard and hit the slopes this winter? There's less than 3 weeks to go until opening day and with the right preparation for strengthening your hamstrings, quadriceps, back and core, you won't have to risk injury or suffer from the usual aches and pains that you may normally experience at the start of each season.

Follow these 5 exercises to get you ready for our El Nino winter ahead from Mike Morin, U.S. Winter Olympics Ski Team coach.

1. Toy Soldiers- for flexible hamstrings

How to: To start, stand up straight with your left arm out to your side at shoulder height. Without bending your knee, kick your right leg while extending your left arm out in front of you to touch your toe. Repeat with the left leg and right arm. Complete three sets of 10 to 12 reps on each side, alternating legs, moving forward with a step in between each kick.

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2. Step-Ups- for leg strengthening.

How to: Stand facing a box, step or chair and place your right foot on the flat surface. Step your left leg up to meet your right, by pushing into your right foot and using the muscles in the right leg to propel you (rather pushing off your left foot). Step down with your left leg, then your right. Complete three sets of 10 to 12 reps and then switch legs.

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3. Physioball Hamstring Curl- to strengthen the hamstrings.

How to: Begin laying on your back, palms down on the floor, with your legs extended and your feet resting on top of a large exercise ball. Using your leg and core strength, begin to draw the ball in toward your body until your knees are bent and you're in a shoulder bridge position. Hold this position for a couple seconds before returning to the starting position. Need more of a challenge? Try single leg curls to really test your hamstring and glute strength. Repeat for three sets of 10 to 12 reps.

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4. Planks and Side Planks- for strenghting the core.

How to: Balancing on your forearms in a push-up position, use the strength of your abdominals and glutes to keep your hips raised to shoulder height, taking extra care not to sag in the midsection. For the side plank, shift from a plank position onto one hand, with the other either extended into the air or on your hip and your feet stacked. Complete three sets (one regular plank and one on each side) of 30- to 60-second holds.

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5. Supermans- lower back strengthening.

How to: Start by lying on your stomach with your arms extended out in front of you. Slowly lift your arms and upper body, keeping your neck in a neutral position. At the same time, lift your legs off the ground, keeping your ankles as close together as you can. Hold for a few seconds before returning your arms and legs back to the floor. Complete three sets of 30 to 60 second holds.

 Get Ski and Snowboard Fit Superman Outside Sports NZ

It's a tempting mad rush on opening day to be one of the first on the chairlift, but remember that a few reps of dynamic moves like toy soldiers and step-ups will get you warm and limber so you can really enjoy that first ski/ snowboard of the season. Look after your body after a day of skiing or snowboarding with some long, static stretches and a hot tub or hot bath to ensure your muscles are ready for day two and the season ahead.

A well balance diet and a hydrated body will also help before, during and after exercise. See our range of Sports Nutrition at Outside Sports for aid in Sports performance and recovery.


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