Downhill Ski Exercises

Downhill Ski Exercises
An athlete's best strategy is to remain conditioned year-round. Seasonal-sport participants, however, face the added challenge to stay fit during off-season. Downhill skiers, for example, will benefit from a focused aerobic, anaerobic, strengthening and flexibility exercise program before hitting the slopes. Here is a quick guide to ski-season conditioning.

Train Aerobically

Try running, walking, swimming, skating, cycling or rowing. A healthy adult should exercise aerobically three to five days a week, at 60% to 90% maximum heart rate, for 15 to 60 minutes of continuous activity, according to the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

Train Anaerobically

Try stair climbs, hill climbs, track sprints or cycling sprints. Perform repeated short (30 to 45 seconds) sprints to exhaustion with a rest period of three to four times the length of the sprint. Gradually increase the number of sprints at each session to 10 repetitions.

Strengthen Your Abdominals

Lie on the floor with your legs bent at the knees. Fold your arms across your chest. Raise your shoulders and torso off the floor. Repeat. Gradually increase repetitions to three sets of 15.

Strengthen Your Quadriceps

Start in a standing position. Bend at the knees and squat. Push your bottom back and out. Keep your back straight. Bend until your upper leg is horizontal to the floor. Return to standing position. Repeat. Gradually increase your repetitions to three sets of 15.

Stand with your back against the wall. Bend your knees. Keep your back against the wall. Bend until your upper legs are horizontal to the floor. Hold for the count of three. Return to standing position. Repeat. Gradually increase the duration and number of holds as you gain strength.

Strengthen Your Hamstrings

Lie on the floor, stomach down. Flex your right foot and lift your lower right leg, bending at the knee. Repeat. Now do it with your left leg. Gradually increase your repetitions to three sets of 15. For more resistance, add ankle weights.

Jump onto a bench. Start with a low object and gradually increase the height. Gradually increase repetitions to three sets of 15.

Increase Your Flexibility

Start in a standing position. Slowly lift your heels off the floor into a tip-toe position. Return to the horizontal position. Repeat. Gradually increase repetitions to three sets of 15.

Stand on a stair with your heels hanging off the end. Slowly let your heels drop below the horizontal plane of the stair. Hold for a count of three. Return to the horizontal position. Repeat. Gradually increase repetitions to three sets of 15.

Article Written By Karen Plant

Karen Plant earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Montana, School of Journalism. Her work has been published in several newspapers, online and in the Montana Journalism Review. As a native Montanan, Plant's love for the outdoors is evident in her frequent hiking, camping and other outdoor activities.

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