Are you ready for the ski season!? Sure, you might be pumped that ski season is right around the corner – but is your BODY ready for ski season? While we all reason to ourselves that skiing in itself is a great way to stay in shape, but in reality, you need to prepare physically before you ever hit the slopes. Failure to do so could mean a lengthy stay in bed, a hospital or even missing out on the fun of skiing entirely in the future!
Sure, the exhilaration of hurtling down a mountain slope covered in sparkling white snow is unbeatable, however it can also be physically taxing on your knees and lower back. Pilates is a perfect way for skiers to avoid injuries as well as regain or enhance your balance and muscular control. The following are examples of exercises that we conduct in our Pilates classes in Sydney that will help you strengthen your knees and lower back so you can conquer the slopes effortlessly – and without risking any more chronic injuries.
Common Injuries Skiers Face
Skiers are especially prone to anterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament and meniscus injuries, as well as lower back injuries caused by fatigue and poor core stabilisation. The motion of skiing also increases stress on the spine, as the hips and lower extremities move in a way that can cause muscle imbalances and compensations. Thankfully, there are specific Pilates exercises that can help combat these injuries and prevent them from occurring in the first place. Here are just a few of them:
1. Pelvic Tilt Or Imprinting
Pelvic tilting or imprinting is a simple yet effective lower back exercise focusing on switching on your deep core muscles. It helps build strength in your spinal support system.
- Lie on your back in a Neutral Spine, with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Inhale, softly engage and lift your pelvic floor muscles (these are the ones that support your bladder region). Pull your navel inward toward your spine, exhale and imprint your lower back into the floor.
- Inhale and return to Neutral Spine.
2. Supine Spine Twist
The flat spine twist helps stretch the back muscles. Controlling this movement strengthens your oblique muscles, supporting your spine further.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent in table top and arms in outward ‘T’ position.
- Keep your knees squeezed together, rotate legs to one side as far your opposite shoulder is in contact with the floor.
- Exhale while simultaneously pulling your navel into your spine. Pull your knees back to the centre using your obliques.
- Repeat the above for your opposite side.
3. Single Leg Circles
- Lie on your back with your arms in outward ‘T’ position.
- Extend one leg up vertical with a flexed foot, opposite leg imprinted into the floor to keep pelvis stable. Move your vertical leg cross your midline then down and around in a circle focusing on keeping pelvis still.
- Repeat the above for your alternate leg.
- Lie flat on your side, with your knees bent one on top of the other.
- Elevate your heels off the ground for a fuller range of movement with the top leg.
- Keep your bottom leg stable and squeeze your glutes and upper thigh opening your top leg like a clamshell.
- Point your knees upwards without your top hip falling back, keeping your pelvis stacked.
Try these four exercises at home and you will condition yourself in much better shape to tackle the slopes this Winter! Alternatively, if you’d prefer the motivation of a group environment or private session with a trained Pilates expert to assist you with your workout then why not come visit one of our four studios across Sydney?
Even Olympians Trust Dynamic Pilates
Winter Olympian Sami Kennedy-Sim is a regular client at Dynamic Pilates who’s experienced the transformative power of Pilates. When Sami injured her back, Reformer Pilates helped to rebuild her core to be stronger than ever before! It’s resulted in significant changes to her body/performance, such as increased posterior strength and flexibility. Just as importantly, it’s helped Sami to develop and sustain the right mindset.
“Staying strong mentally is one of the toughest parts of ski cross – and Pilates definitely challenges my mental strength. Being able to continue to push when my body is telling me to stop – maintaining control and stability when my muscles are on fire is all mental. Pilates helps keep my eyes on the prize!”
– Sami Kennedy-Sim, Olympian and Dynamic Pilates regular
Regardless of whether or not you’re a casual skier, professional skier or just looking for a way to strengthen your core and get fit whilst having fun doing it, our Pilates classes in Sydney are a fantastic option to add into your workout regime.
Contact one of our team members at Dynamic Pilates on 02 8084 1897 to find out more, book in for a visit or get started with our today.
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