How to Improve Balance for Skiing

How to Improve Balance for Skiing
According to the Professional Ski Instructors of America, edge, pressure, rotary and balance are the fundamental skills required for alpine skiing. While edge, pressure and rotary skills can be practiced on the slopes, balance is something that is acquired over time, and must be maintained on a regular basis. There are two types of balance that are crucial for skiers. The first is the dynamic balance related to stability. Note the word "dynamic." Unlike yoga, which requires static balance, skiing requires balance in motion. The second type of balance involves correcting muscular imbalance. Most people, especially women, have stronger quads than hamstrings. Correcting this imbalance will enhance technique. Follow these steps.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Balance board or bosu Stability ball Balance disks
  • Balance board or bosu
  • Stability ball
  • Balance disks
Step 1
Start with basic balance exercises. Stand on one foot, and shift your weight from the ball of the foot to the heel. This will improve what is known as your fore/aft balance. When you have mastered this exercise on both legs, try it with your eyes closed. This enhances proprioception, which is your awareness of your body's position in space. Proprioception and balance are related.
Step 2
Try the above exercise on a balance board or bosu.
Step 3
Practice squats on a balance board or bosu.
Step 4
Stand on two exercise disks and perform edging movements Roll your feet so that you are on the little toe of one foot and the big toe of the other. Make a smooth transition by flattening your feet, and then edge to the other side.
Step 5
Lie on your back with your heels on the stability ball and your knees bent. Separate your feet so they are pelvic width apart. Engage your core by drawing your navel towards your spine. Lift each vertebra until you are in a bridge position. Straighten and bend your legs for 12 repetitions. Keep your knees bent as you roll back to the floor. This exercise strengthens your hamstrings, corrects hamstring and quad muscle imbalances and improves dynamic balance.

Tips & Warnings

 
Practice engaging your core by drawing your navel to your spine and holding your belly tight for 10 seconds. Do this 10 times a day.
 
Standing on a stability ball can be dangerous.

Article Written By Lisa Mercer

In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.

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