Tag Archives: snow sports

Ski/Board Strong, All Day Long: Week 5

Welcome back to the fifth week of the Ski and Snowboard Series.  This is a progressive strength and conditioning program specific to snow sports injury prevention and performance enhancement.  By now you should have a good base strength to protect you from injuring yourself the first day out on the slopes.  Also by now, hopefully you have made it to the slopes!  The previous weeks direct you in beginning hip, core, and balance exercises.

Week 1:  Glut med and balance progressions

Week 2:  Front plank and squat progressions

Week 3:  Clams and side plank progressions

Week 4: Bridge and hip power progressions

The coming ski and snowboard posts will be emphasize development of your speed, agility, and power necessary for some seriously technical moves!

Lunge Progression – Week 5

The lunge exercise is one of the best total lower body exercises there is.   Eccentric muscle contractions in the gluts, hamstrings and quadriceps occur while performing the lunge, which creates strength for powerful movements.  The lunge will prepare your legs for more technical moves such as jumping and moguls.

Start: Stationary lunge.  Step one foot forward making sure that your front knee does not go beyond the toes.  Keep the trunk upright and abdominals engaged while lowering the back knee towards the ground.  Repeat 2 sets of 10-20 repetitions on each side.

Progress:  Perform the dynamic lunge by stepping back between each repetition.  To further advance it, add a rotational twist into the front leg.  Perform 2 sets of 10 – 20 repetitions or to fatigue.  

Squat and Rotation Progression – Week 5

Since much of our time on skis and snowboard are spent in a slight squat, this is a very sport specific exercise to improve your stability with shredding, moguls, or for creating power prior to aerial moves.

Start: Squat with rotational chop.  While holding a squat, use a weight or medicine ball to perform a low to high diagonal movement.  To progress in intensity move the weight faster without letting your hips/trunk sway.  Perform 2 sets of 30 seconds or to fatigue.  Repeat the other direction moving the weight low to high from your opposite side.

Progress: Single leg squat with rotational chop.  Perform 2 sets of 30 seconds or to fatigue.  Repeat the other direction moving the weight low to high from your opposite side.  Perform on each leg. 

Still not motivated or don’t have enough time to practice every day?  Come to Total Body Fitness every Tuesday and Saturday where we will feature specific exercises geared towards snow sports fitness.

Check back for next week’s installment of the ski and snowboard series!

Ski/Board Strong, All Day Long: Week 2

Welcome back to the second week of the Ski and Snowboard Series.  This is a progressive strength and conditioning program specific to snow sports injury prevention and performance enhancement.

Last week’s blog emphasizing gluteal and balance progressions can be performed in addition to this week’s series emphasizing more advanced gluteal and abdominal stability work.

Core – Week 2

After performing the floor gluteal strengthening and balance exercises a couple of times we are ready to progress to what we call closed chained strengthening (feet on the ground), which is very specific to skiing and snowboarding.  Holding that crouched posture down the slopes takes endurance mixed with bursts of power.  If you don’t have enough endurance to last the entire run, you will be too gassed to perform any technical moves requiring quick changes of direction or bursts of energy.  The best way to develop both types of strength in the core is by performing a variety of plank exercises described in the video below.

Start: Stationary plank on elbows/toes.  This can be modified to elbows and knees.  Perform 3 sets of 30 seconds – 1 minute or to fatigue.  If you are able to hold the stationary plank for > 30 seconds with good form, attempt the more challenging versions.

Progress:  Dynamic plank on BOSU hands and toes or leg extension.  Perform 2 sets 10-20 of each or until fatigue.

Circuit these sets with the squats (below) or balance drills from last week to save time and keep your heart rate up.

Gluteal Progression – Week 2

This closed chained progression is the most specific to both skiing and snowboarding technique.  Having stong hip extensors and the ability for your core / hips to coordinate well together will minimize the possibility of improperly edging or wiping out on the board because you couldn’t get your hips centered in time.  The progression in the video below (to one leg squats) emphasizes glut and core coordination for improving quick change of direction.

Start: Double leg squats.  Perform 2 sets of 10-20 reps or to fatigue.  Add hand weights and lower body slowly to increase load.

Progress: Single leg Squats.  Perform 2 sets of 10-20 reps or to fatigue.

Still not motivated or don’t have enough time to practice every day?  Come to Total Body Fitness every Tuesday and Saturday where we will feature specific exercises geared to snow sports fitness.

Check back for next week’s installment of the ski and snowboard series!

Ski/Board Strong, All Day Long: Week 1

Ski and Snowboard Series

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and you are probably feeling the pressure of the holiday season.  Having a goal in mind and program in place will alleviate some of the pressure and keep you focused.   Knowing that there is a 10 foot base of snow will keep you motivated to start prepping for ski and snowboard season.   To help you progress your training safely, we will be uploading weekly videos.   We will also be posting about common snow sport injuries and training pitfalls.

If you routinely hit the slopes every winter, you are already aware of the potential risk of injuries without prepping your trunk and legs properly.  You are not only at risk for injury, but at risk for poor performance.  Everyone dreads the soreness after their first day back on the mountain.  Doing just a little bit of training will dramatically reduce the aftermath of that first day.  Each week we will post two sets of exercises that are focused on a specific muscle group or coordination of multiple muscle groups specific for skiing or snowboarding.  Get going today with these exercises for week 1.

Week 1 – Gluteal Progression

Week one of snow sport training involves waking up dormant hip muscles (specifically the gluteus medius).  This muscle is essential for stability and power during change of direction while carving or shredding down the mountain.

Start: sidelying hip abduction  – Perform 2 sets of 10-20 reps on each leg or until fatigue in the side of your hip.

Progress:  band walks – perform 1 minute walking even distances to the right and the left or until fatigue.

Week 1 – Balance Progression

Without superior balance we would not be able to stand up let alone descend the mountain on our skis or snowboards.  Standing on one leg coordinates glut and core activation, also essential for safe and efficient mechanics on the slopes.  Balance can be improved in extremely short amounts of time IF you practice it.

Start: Single leg stance.  Hold for 30 seconds.  Repeat on both sides.  Progress to performing with eyes closed.

Progress:  Single leg stance on an unstable surface and/or ball toss.  Hold for 30 seconds.  Progress by closing eyes.  Also, progress by tossing a ball for 30-60 seconds.

Still not motivated or don’t have enough time to practice every day?  Come to Total Body Fitness every Tuesday and Saturday where we will feature special exercises geared for snow sport fitness!

Check back for next week’s installment of the ski and snowboard series!

Tips For a Safe Snowboarding Season

For many people, the sight of rain and snow clouds is a downer. But for a snowboarder, it’s a sign of life going down hill in another way. Tahoe received 7 FEET of snow by Thanksgiving, and Squaw received an additional 11”-13” just this past weekend. All this snow is paving the way for a great snowboarding season!

The sport has grown immensely in the last 40 years, and was even introduced into the Winter Olympics in 1998. When most people think of snowboarding they think of Shaun White sailing 18 feet over the half pipe. Those tricks do come with injuries, but the majority of injuries actually occur in beginners.

What are the causes of snowboarding injuries and how can you reduce your chances of becoming an injury stat?

Because a snowboarder’s feet are strapped onto a board, there is less torque occurring at the lower body than with skiing.  As a result, the injuries mainly occur in the upper body (wrist, elbow, and shoulder) from falling on an outstretched hand.  Of those injuries, 44% are wrist strains/fractures making it the most common snowboard injury.  Shoulder injuries come in a close second at 33% (rotator cuff injuries and shoulder dislocations).

How can injury risk be reduced?

1)  Gear: Use of wrist guards have been shown to consistently decrease risk of wrist fractures and strains. Another common injury among both snowboarders and skiers is a head injury, so helmets are a no brainer.

2)  Conditioning: Most snowboarding injuries occur in beginners because of poor balance and conditioning. As with any sport, the key to preventing injuries is preparation. Follow our blog over the next few weeks for sport specific exercises, and join our Total Body Fitness Class to help you achieve your best performance and safe boarding.

3)   Learn to Fall: Don’t fight it. A good way to dissipate a fall, is to make fists and slide onto your forearms and chest. If you happen to sustain an injury, make sure to ice for 10 minutes 3 times a day to decrease pain, swelling, and inflammation. If symptoms don’t improve, go see a doctor.

Got to go for now, they’re loading my board on the roof rack!!

This is the second week of our ski and snowboard series.  Next Monday we will be posting progressions for gluteal and core strength, both vital for good stability on the snowboard.  We will also be posting our holiday wellness specials on CPMC Physical Therapy Facebook Page.  Give the gift of fitness with bike fit, running, or golf assessment.

Work Hard Now for a Better Snow Sports Season

Ski and Snowboard Series

Thanksgiving is over and you are probably feeling the pressure of the holiday season.  Having a goal in mind and program in place will alleviate some of the pressure and keep you focused.   Knowing that there is a 10 foot base of snow will keep you motivated to start prepping for ski and snowboard season.   In effort to help you progress your training safely we will be uploading weekly videos.   We will also be posting about common snow sport injuries and training pitfalls.

If you routinely hit the slopes every winter, you are already aware of the potential risk of injuries without prepping your trunk and legs properly.  You are not only at risk for injury, but at risk for poor performance.  Everyone dreads the soreness after their first day back on the mountain.  Doing just a little bit of training will dramatically reduce the aftermath of that first day.  Each week we will post two sets of exercises that are focused on a specific muscle group or coordination of multiple muscle groups specific for skiing or snowboarding.  Get going today with these exercises for week 1.

Week 1 – Gluteal Progression

Week one of snow sport training involves waking up dormant hip muscles (specifically the gluteus medius).  This muscle is essential for stability and power during change of direction while carving or shredding down the mountain.

Start: sidelying hip abduction  – Perform 2 sets of 10-20 reps on each leg or until fatigue in the side of your hip.

Progress:  band walks – perform 1 minute walking even distances to the right and the left or until fatigue.

Week 1 – Balance Progression

Without superior balance we would not be able to stand up let alone descend the mountain on our skis or snowboards.  Standing on one leg coordinates glut and core activation, also essential for safe and efficient mechanics on the slopes.  Balance can be improved in extremely short amounts of time IF you practice it.

Start: Single leg stance.  Hold for 30 seconds.  Repeat on both sides.  Progress to performing with eyes closed.

Progress:  Single leg stance on an unstable surface and/or ball toss.  Hold for 30 seconds.  Progress by closing eyes.  Also, progress by tossing a ball for 30-60 seconds.

Still not motivated or don’t have enough time to practice every day?  Come to Total Body Fitness every Tuesday and Saturday where we will feature special exercises geared for snow sport fitness.  Later this week we will be posting a blog specific to common skiing injuries.