NorthernEscapeHeliskiing_5Q1A8489Don’t let tired, shaky legs cut your time on the slopes short! Now is the time to start a preseason heli ski exercise program to begin training your muscles for the upcoming ski and snowboard season. With these three simple leg workouts you can improve your stamina, get your legs ready and ensure that you get the most out of every day on the hill.

Warm Up

Before starting any sort of workout (including skiing or snowboarding) warming up is key; preparing your muscles and joints can help to prevent injury and fatigue. For this reason we offer a complimentary morning stretch class prior to heli skiing everyday.

For these preseason exercises it is recommended that you allocate at least 10 minutes for warm up. By the end of it you should be slightly sweating but not out of breath.

Some simple warm-ups are running on the spot or skipping rope.

Lunges

3 sets of 6 reps each side

Working your thighs, hamstrings and glutes this exercise will help you to carve up the slopes without the first day shaky legs.

Execution:

Start from a basic stance with your legs shoulder width apart

Step to the front in a long stride making sure to keep your back upright

Slowly lower your back knee towards the floor (don’t touch the floor)

At the same time create a 90 degree angle with your front knee (do not go past your toes with your knee)

Return to starting position and switch sides

Squats

3 sets of 12 reps

This exercise simulates your leg movement when riding rough terrain or moguls; get used to the burn now and build up a tolerance to extend your time on the slopes.

Execution:

Grab 2 or 3 large pillows and hug them in your arms as tight as possible (this engages your core muscles)

Keep you shoulders back and shift your weight onto your heels

Bend at the knees down to 90 degrees keeping you back as straight as possible

Stand back up, initiating with your glutes by tightening your buttocks rather than just using your thighs

Leg Recovery

3 sets of 10 reps each side

It happens to the best of us, you’ve caught a ski in the snow and as you recover you have to balance on one ski to prevent a wipeout. Improve your balance now and avoid landing in the snow later.

Execution:

Start from a basic stance with your legs shoulder width apart

Standing on your left leg, keep your right leg straight while lifting it to the side

Bring your leg back down until your foot almost touches the floor

Repeat these steps 10 times then switch legs

Tip: Too busy to do a dedicated workout? These exercises can easily be integrated into your daily routine. Heading to the kitchen for a snack? Lunge your way there! Making the bed? Grab those pillows and squat! Just standing there while you brush your teeth? Why not work on your leg recovery!

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