Pilates + Skiing and Snowboarding
It’s ski season—ah…the pure joy of skiing down a mountainside of sparkling powder, surrounded by tall evergreens and brilliant blue sky…
Then, after that first day of tackling moguls, dodging trees and other skiers; the fatigue and soreness of the legs and hips kick in. This is partly because of muscle overuse and lack of core strength. If the core is not working enough, your legs and hips have to work harder to stabilize you.
Pilates will stretch tight, overused leg muscles, such as the quads and hip flexors and strengthen underused muscles such as the hamstrings and inner thighs.
Skiers rely on side to side hip movement to recruit the inside and outside edge of the ski. Boarders tilt their hips forward and back to access the front and back edge of the board and use a more rotational movement to change directions. A strong core gives you better edge control. Edge control improves balance as you navigate the twists and turns of the slope –at high speeds-, the ever-changing snow conditions and the ability to get up unscathed when you take a tumble.
By practicing Pilates, core strength and alignment improves and you become more in tune with your body. Movements are fluid, there is less wear and tear on joints and your sport becomes more enjoyable. You’ll find yourself adapting better to changing snow conditions, challenging terrain, and falling less.
Here are some mat exercises you could start today:
- The Hundred – core, arms, hip stabilizer
- The Abdominal Series
• Single leg stretch
• Double leg stretch
• Single straight leg stretch
• Double straight leg stretch
- The Side Lying Leg Kick Series
• Small Circles
• Inner Thigh lifts
Nothing will improve your skiing faster than a strong core. Cross-train by adding a Pilates mat class to your fitness regime or perhaps a private session with your Pilates Instructor.
Stay strong, ski safe!