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The five best exercises for Skiing

Danae van den Berg from the Better Body Group gets us ready for the harsh conditions on the slopes.

Skiing can be incredibly taxing on the body, for beginners and well-seasoned skiers alike. It requires you to be well adapted and ready for the harsh conditions on the slopes, where you have to brace, steer, and produce speed.
Danae van den Berg is Exercise Specialist at the Better Body Group.
The quadriceps, the muscles on the front of your legs, are one of the most used muscle groups in skiing because they hold you in position and provide protection for your knees while you ski. Your hamstrings and glutes, the muscles on the back of your legs, play a major role in holding your body in a leant forwards position. Meanwhile, the muscles on your inner and outer thighs, the abductors and adductors, will be working overtime to maintain a stable position while on the slopes.
The calves are responsible for keeping you standing and stable; the gastrocnemius and the soleus are constantly working due to the bent knee position, preventing you from falling over.
Finally, don’t forget about your abdominals. Your back will be under constant tension all day from the slight bent over position you are adopting, and your abs play a role in protecting your spine. Don’t neglect them! 
They work harder than almost any other muscle to keep your body in position. Now that we know what muscles to train, how can you best prepare yourself for the slopes? 
Here are five exercises to help you shred, carve and speed down the mountains:
1. Banded Pulse Squats
• Start off with your feet just past shoulder width and toes slightly turned out.
• Squat down to parallel, pushing your knees into the band and keeping your knees in line with your second toe.
• From here, take small pulses up and down 20 times, keeping the tension on the band. If you don’t have access to a resistance band, you can still perform these without. If you find them too easy then you can add weight to make it more of a challenge.
2. Slide Lunges
• Stand with one leg on the floor and one leg on a sliding surface or apparatus.
• Keeping most of your weight in the heel of your static leg, allow your back leg to slide outwards while lowering your body.
• Make sure there is a bend in the sliding leg.
• At the bottom, push through your heel and try to squeeze your legs together by driving your hips through and standing up straight. Squeeze your glutes!
3. Single Leg RDLs
• Stand balancing on one leg, with a kettlebell in the opposite hand in front of your thigh.
• Sit your hips back like it is being pulled back by a rope, allowing your standing leg to have a slight knee bend and your free leg to stay in line with your body. 
• Bend at your hips and keep your back straight, allowing the kettlebell to reach shin-height.
• Maintaining your weight through your heel, drive your hips forward to return to your starting position. 
4. Calf Raises
• Using a step, lower your heels down until you feel a stretch in your calves.
• Push up onto your toes and then repeat the movement. 
5. Med Ball Wood Chops
• With the weight of your choice, create a secure base with your feet planted shoulder width apart and a slight bend in your knees. 
• To perform the chop, bring the ball overhead to one side. Make sure you do not create an arch in your back by bracing your core and squeezing your glutes. 
• Quickly bring the med ball down and across your body, without letting go. 
• Alternate sides, and change the direction of your chop to achieve a full core and back.
Still not sure how to tackle it on your own? Here at the Better Body Group we have a team of friendly experts on hand to help you with your training!
Give us a call on 01732 451979 to book in a free 30-minute consultation, or email us at with any questions you may have.


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