Winter sport fitness

With winter having arrived many of us are considering a trip to the snow or, for those of us who are not, would like to maintain and improve our health and fitness in those colder winter months.

Below are some exercises that you can utilise whether you are going skiing or as a warm up for when you exercise on a cold winters morning.

Skiing and snowboarding are great ways to get a really good workout for the whole body but it can be tough if you aren’t prepared physically.

Most people who have been to the snow are all too familiar with how sore they can feel after a day or two on the slopes. This is because we are engaging in a physically demanding activity that asks the body to move in a way that it is not used to nor prepared for, which naturally leads to muscle tightness and possibly injury.

It is for this reason that it is important to prepare our bodies for winter.These exercises will improve your mobility in preparation for your winter activities and can be used as a warm up on the slopes or before you head out for the early morning walk.

  • Leg swing Hold onto to something for support
  • Gently swing your leg out to the side and back across the middle of your body
  • Maintain control and don’t twist too much through your pelvis or lower back
  • Start with 10-15 seconds on each leg

  • Side lunge Start with your feet on the floor so they’re hip-width apart with your toes pointed directly forward
  • Lift your leg and step to the side. Once your foot is fully planted, push your hips back and bend your knee to lower into a side lunge.
  • Maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement
  • Only go far enough to feel a light, comfortable stretch down the inside of your leg out
  • Start with 3 sets of 3 repetitions on each side

  • Calf stretch Start facing a wall/solid object for support
  • place both hands at chest level
  • Put one foot behind you flat on the floor
  • Bend your front knee and lean in.
  • Hold for 15-30 seconds on each leg

  • Squat Feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart with toes slightly turned out
  • Bend your knees and slowly lower your hips as if you are sitting onto a chair while keeping your back straight
  • If this is initially too difficult hold onto a rail or something out in front of you to take some of the weight as you sit back into the squat
  • Try to get your hips below parallel if possible
    • Only go as far into the squat as you can while maintaining correct form
  • Drive through your heels as you straighten at the hips and knees to come back to the starting point, squeezing your glutes together at the top of the movement
  • Start with 2 sets of 5 repetitions with the aim of increasing to 3 sets of 8 as you get better at the exercise

  • Advanced Balance exerciseBend your knee slightly
  • Slowly tip forward from your hips and lift your heel off the ground making sure to keep a straight line between your foot, hip, shoulders and your head.
  • Only go as far as is comfortable and stable
  • Pause in this position for a moment before slowly returning to the start position, squeezing your glutes and hamstrings.
  • Start with 3 sets of 5 repetitions on each leg

We have provided some guidelines for where to start with the number of times each of these exercises should be performed.
If you would like more exercises and guidance on how to do the exercises then give us a call to discuss what you require.

As you get stronger and begin to feel the exercises getting easier you can increase the number of times you do them. We would recommend going up by 1-2 repetitions at a time to see how the body adjusts.

If you are nursing an ongoing niggle you should come in and see your physio for a musculoskeletal screen prior to hitting the slopes to help prevent injury and enhance your enjoyment.

These exercises should all be pain free. If you experience any pain with any of these exercises stop them immediately and ring/email your physiotherapist for advice.

Most of all, enjoy the outdoors.
Your team at EHP Physio