Get ready for the winter

By: Rachel Sklar

The leaves are turning colours, the air is becoming crisp and the scent of pumpkin spice lattes are wafting through the air. Fall is among us, and soon, the winter season is going to be in full swing. We’ll soon be swapping our shoes for boots and playing in the snow. There’s nothing sweeter than waking up to fresh powder and ripping down the mountain. As we transition sports, this is a perfect way to start implementing winter workouts. There is nothing worse than hitting the slopes for first time of the season and getting wiped out by some sort of injury.

The best way to enjoy the sports is to do it injury free. These exercises are the fundamentals of my routine, which I alternate daily. Being a 500 hour accredited yoga instructor has helped me to integrate yoga and flexibility into my routine but also to incorporate banded mobility exercises into my clients workouts.

Whether you’re an avid skier, snowboarder, winter runner/snowshoer or cross country warrior, these exercises can help reinforce those fibres in your muscles to withstand impact, range of motion, lateral motions and power.

CLAM SHELLS

Clamshell exercises are one of the best prehab exercises you can do to help strengthen your glutes which will in turn stabilize your pelvis.

  1. Lie on your side, legs stacked on top of each other at a 90 degree angle
  2. Optional: Loop band around knees
  3. Rest your head on your arm on the floor or propped up on your hand
  4. Engage your abdominals by pulling your stomach in through your belly button
  5. Keep your feet touching, raise your upper knee as high as you can without shifting pelvis
  6. Hold for 1 second, squeezing your glutes at the top before lowering your knee to starting position
  7. Three sets of ten reps (left and right)

REVERSE CLAMSHELL

  1. Lie on your side, legs stacked on top of each other at 90 degree angle
  2. Optional: Loop band around knees
  3. Rest your head on your arm on the floor or propped up on your hand
  4. Engage your abdominals by pulling your stomach in through your belly button
  5. Start in the same position as clamshell exercise
  6. Rotate your top foot outward and up towards the ceiling, keeping your knee together
  7. Hold for 1 second on the way up and release slowly
  8. Return to clam position and repeat
  9. Three sets of ten reps (left and right)

LEG EXTENSIONS WITH BAND

  1. Lie on your side, legs stacked on top of each other
  2. Optional: Loop band around ankles
  3. Rest your head on your arm on the floor or propped up on your hand
  4. Engage your abdominals by pulling your stomach in through your belly button
  5. Slowly raise your leg as high as you can, pulse for 5 seconds at the top and bring it back to meet your leg
  6. Three sets of ten reps

STABILITY BALL HIP EXTENSIONS:

  1. Lie flat on the floor, bend legs to 90 degrees and rest heels on stability ball
  2. Push your hips up until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees. Keep your abdominal engaged by drawing your belly button in
  3. Pull your heels towards you and roll the ball as close to your butt as possible
  4. Roll the ball back until your body is in a straight line again with your neutral spine.
  5. Lower your hips back down to the ground
  6. Three sets of ten reps

BANDED FIRE HYDRANT

Fire hydrants not only tone your glutes and abdominals but they help to strengthen them as well. This will improve the mobility in your hips, allowing you to shred down the mountain with more strength in your mid trunk

  1. Loop band around ankles
  2. Come on the palms of your hand and tip toes. Keep your core engaged and keep a neutral spine. Keep your feet hip width apart
  3. Lift your left outwards to try to form a 90 degree angle at the top. Release slowly
  4. Three sets of ten reps

BACK AND HIP MOBILITY DRILL

This drill is wonderful for waking up the mid back and pelvis. Incorporating this before getting outside will warm up your body before hitting the slopes

  1. Bring your chest to the floor and arms out to the side
  2. Lift one left and bring one over your body at 90 degrees. See how far you can bring that back leg across, trying to bring your entire foot flat on the floor
  3. Alternate side to side

SINGLE LEG SQUATS (Using a bench or elevated platform)

Knee injuries are just a common injury in sports. I know it too well with running. Single leg squats will detect imbalances between legs but also help to correct them once they are discovered. Single leg squats will also help increase the range of motion in the hip, knee and ankle

  1. Stand facing away from bench
  2. Leave one leg resting on the bench behind you
  3. Squat with your standing leg until the knee of your other leg is almost to the floor
  4. Push through on your front foot and return to starting position
  5. Three sets of ten reps

SEATED ROWS WITH WEIGHTS

If you haven’t poled in a while, this is a great exercise to start targeting your back and arms. Incorporate another three sets of ten of pushups and dips

  1. Begin by sitting on the floor with a slight bend in the knees
  2. Hold the dumbbells out in front of your body with your arms straight
  3. Bring the dumbbells in towards your body at chest level, as you squeeze your elbows behind your back
  4. Three sets of ten reps

SPEED SKATER SQUATS

This exercise will help keep those little pieces knees in tip top shape as well as your joints to help you stabilize as you rip down the mountain

  1. Start by standing on one leg, with the other leg bent behind you
  2. Keep your shin parallel to the floor, squat down until your shin is resting on the floor
  3. Try to lift both foot and knee at the same time off the floor whilst pushing through on the standing foot
  4. Two sets of five reps

MOBILITY FOR EDGING

  1. Bring your hands in the air and sit down, bringing your legs parallel to the floor. Balance on the tips of your toes
  2. Bring one knee down and underneath the other knee
  3. Alternate side to side, seeing how far down and across you can get your knee
  4. Repeat 10 per side

BANDED ABDUCTION SQUAT (SEATED IN CHAIR OR AIR SQUAT)

One of my favourite mobility drills for strengthening important muscles needed for stabilization You can use a chair for this exercise or go into a regular air squat

  1. Start by sitting in a chair (or standing in an air squat, legs hip width apart)
  2. Loop band around knees
  3. Move knees away from each other, ensuring core is engaged by drawing your belly button in
  4. Return to starting position and repeat 10 times

Published by Melissa Kurtin

Resident Gryffindor of the Marketing Team, combines her passion for the outdoors with her love of rule following to help you get the most of your Blue Mountain experience

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