Before You Ski Or Board, Do These Mobility Exercises

Before You Ski Or Board, Do These Mobility Exercises

Winter sports, like skiing, snowboarding, or even ice skating, require a tremendous amount of lower-body mobility and balance. The last thing you want to be is stiff before you hit the slopes because that increases the risk of injury. Cold weather already makes your body stiffer because there isn’t as much blood flow in your circulation as there is in warmer climates. That means it falls on you to get your blood flowing to all areas of the body.

In addition to warming up your internal core temperature, you need to activate specific muscles and joints that are necessary for skiing or boarding. Winter mountain sports require quad, glute, and hamstring strength. When you hit bumps on a mountain or you want to break a fall, the body needs to absorb the impact safely. In order to keep the hip and knee joints safe, you have to activate your core and lower-body muscles. Below, you’ll find great mobility and balance exercises to prep your muscles and joints for a day on the slopes. 

Bounce Back Lunge

This lunge variation aims to warm up your knee joint while activating your quads. If you plan on doing any jumps on the slopes, this exercise helps you absorb the force during the landing. Stand up straight with your feet hip-distance apart. Without moving your left foot, take a big step forward with your right foot. Come into a lunge position, bending your right knee to 90 degrees. To return to the starting position, engage your glutes and drive through your right heel to press up. Complete eight reps on one leg and then repeat on the other side. 

Shin Sits To Deep Squat

This exercise is great for hip and spine rotation, glute strength, and hamstring flexibility. Plus, you may feel a stretch along the soles of your feet, which is much needed before cramming them into tight snow boots. Come into a kneeling position and sit back on your heels, ensuring that they Shift your weight forward to flex your ankles and toes. Now, sit back on your heels again and feel the stretch along the soles of your feet. In a fluid motion, sit back onto your heels, pivoting into a deep squat position. Place your elbows on the insides of your knees and push them out to feel a stretch in your inner thighs. Reverse the movement to return to the starting position and then repeat a total of 10 times. 

Supine Thoracic Rotation

While strengthening your lower-body muscles is integral for balance, you also have to maintain a strong and flexible core. Opening up the rib cage and rotating the thoracic spine can help reduce stiffness on the slopes. Lay down on your right side in a fetal position, knees and hips bent at a 90-degree angle. Place your left arm on top of your right and your left leg on top of your right. Keep both of your knees together and slowly open your left arm up, extending it toward the ceiling. Follow your left hand with your gaze, but make sure to keep your right shoulder on the ground and that your knees are lined up and together. Bring your left arm back down to return to the starting position. Complete 10 repetitions and then switch sides, making sure not to rush through this movement. 

Heel Toe Shift With Hip Hinge

This movement aims to activate the glutes and hamstrings, allowing you to move your hips in full range of motion. That can help prevent falls by training hip coordination and balance. Stand up straight with your feet hip-distance apart. Hinge at the hips, extend your butt back a little, and squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground, shifting the weight to your heels so that your toes are off the ground. Return to the standing position and stand tall on your toes, squeezing your glutes and engaging your calves. Complete eight reps and then finish. 

Loaded Beast To Front Step

We have this movement as the final mobility exercise, which helps to improve knee, ankle, plantar, hip, and hip flexor extension and flexion. Come into a kneeling position and sit back on your heels, keeping your toes flexed. Extend your arms out in front of you onto the ground and press off the ground to tuck your knees to your chest. Take a deep breath in and then explode forward to replace your right hand with your right foot. Bring your right hand by your face as you exhale. Return to the loaded position and then repeat on the other leg. Make sure to sink your hips towards the ground without letting your back knee touch the floor during your step backs. Complete a total of five times per leg. 

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